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Water in the World: Water Crisis in Jakarta, Indonesia

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Pages: 4
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Table of contents

  1. Water Sources
  2. Weather
  3. People
  4. Causes & Impact
  5. Solutions
  6. Recommendation

With nearly 70% of the world covered in water, only about 2.5% is drinkable, causing some countries to have limited or no access to fresh water. One of these countries suffering from a water crisis is Jakarta, Indonesia. Having more than 10 million people living in Jakarta, there is not enough fresh water available to drink and use for everyday use. With the growing population, people in Indonesia are having to rely on rivers and wells for water, but even then, the ground water is contaminated by dirty septic tanks. Cholera, Salmonella, Typhoid and more are all examples of waterborne diseases which can cause people to fall ill from drinking and using contaminated water. If Jakarta is not helped, and solutions for their water crisis are not put in place, the people who live in Jakarta could suffer even more than they are now

Water Sources

In Jakarta, most of their water is from surface water, or in other words, their rivers. The water from Citarum River, the largest and longest river in west Java, is used to manage many dams. The water from those dams then are used for electrical power generation, river flow, industrial uses, tourism and farming. Many people of Jakarta also use ground water, from wells but because of the condition of the water, it is not considered to be safe. There are also water treatment plants located in Jakarta such as the Buaran Water Treatment Plant, Pulogadung Water Treatment Plant and the Pejompongan Water Treatment Plant.


Weather conditions in Jakarta are usually humid and tropical. Being so close to the equator, Jakarta experiences sunny, tropical days all year round. Throughout the year, temperatures in Jakarta range from around 24 to 32 degrees Celsius, with the wet season occurring between October and May, and the dry season between June and September. On average, January has been recorded to be the wettest month, whereas the driest month recorded is August.


Jakarta is a city home to many different mixes of people, who some have come for the economic opportunities. Most of Jakarta is made up of Javanese people, but Sundanese, Batak, Malay, Betawi and other people of different ethnicities also live in the city of Jakarta. Much of Jakarta’s religion is Islam, but smaller portions of the city are made up of Buddhists, Protestant Christians, Catholics and Hindus. Jakarta is a city with a mix of traditions, cuisine and festivals that are celebrated annually.

In Indonesia, with the increasing population, much of the country is considered to be poor. In Jakarta, with the population growing, currently over 10 million people, the poverty rate increases. With the increase in the poor population, problems such as malnutrition, no sanitation, lack of electricity and limited education occurs in the city of Jakarta.

In Indonesia, there are many jobs where people can work. There is a high unemployment rate in Indonesia, because of the lack of skills people have when they have left school. Some of the most common jobs in Jakarta and Indonesia include teachers, employees of SOEs, civil servants, peddlers, drivers, waiter or waitresses, salesmen, factory workers, farmers, fishermen, nurses and street performers.

In Jakarta, and other large cities in Indonesia, there are many housing and infrastructure problems. There have been lots of suburban housing development, but the areas lack sufficient housing, a dependable water supply and good enough schools and medical facilities. People also live in small brick houses in some areas of Jakarta, finding their own water and sometimes illegally tapping into power supply companies. Other housing is also provided by some employers and government ministries.

Causes & Impact

In Jakarta, most of the city’s water is from the rivers, with companies using water treatment plants to clean the water and make it available for use. When the rivers began to dry up and they were becoming polluted with waste, it was difficult to provide fresh water for Jakarta. The operation of the treatment plants was shut down, and residents were forced to buy water jugs to use. In the households of the city, dirty water was reported to be coming from their taps. The septic systems in Jakarta are also very poor, and can leak into ground water, or even into rivers. As people use ground water, to use daily, they drain so much ground water out that the lands surface sinks. The sinking results in buildings to lower and floods to become worse, as water is not able to flow into the ocean. The river pollution is the main problem in Jakarta’s in regard to its water crisis, and people are having to find their own water, whether it is polluted or not.

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Jakarta’s water crisis impacts the people in the city so much. The polluted water in Jakarta impacts the people’s health, from using it to drink, or even bathing in the water, there are many health problems linked to the poor quality of water. The water crisis has also forced some people to close down their businesses, shops and even some industries. The water crisis even affects fisheries, because of the damaged fish from the unclean water. Many people buy bottled water regularly, some rely on wells, springs, rivers and streams to provide their water, which some follow water treatment methods, boiling and filtering the water before the drink it. The increase of floods and rainfall also increases the risk of water borne diseases in the area. Infrastructure can also be damaged due to floods; sewage can leak, fresh water can become contaminated, and unavailable for consumption. Water borne diseases are also more common in poorer communities, with lack of sanitation and fresh water there is a higher risk of water borne diseases. While there is a lack of fresh water, it is difficult for agriculture and food, or daily essentials to be grown. This results in less products to use for everyday life in Jakarta.


In Jakarta, the government and others are implementing ways to get rid of the water crisis and to help the city. Already, many rainwater tanks have been distributed all over Jakarta to help the local, but this is only a short-term solution for their problem. After educating the public and increasing their awareness of what is happening, the city needs a long-term solution to fight their water crisis problem.

One long term solution to Jakarta’s water crisis is to advance their water conservation technology. Although they already have some treatment plants, some are shut down or not in use because of the water crisis. Implementing more advanced technology in order to treat water results in the increase of clean water for the city of Jakarta. Desalination is also another source of water, having to treat salt water so it is useable for the public. Many other technologies have been invented, resulting in many different ways water can be treated in Jakarta. Although the technology would help Jakarta, there would be some disadvantages such as the cost of the whole project.

Recycling water is also another solution for Jakarta’s water crisis. Being a city where there is not enough fresh water people have to watch how much they are using, along with collecting clean natural water such as rain to then filter themselves and use. Some waste water can also be recycled in Jakarta, by being treated and cleaned thoroughly the people of Jakarta can reuse and sustain their fresh water. This is a great way to reuse water, but everyone has to participate and help in order for the problem to get better.

Another solution to Jakarta’s water crisis is improving farming practices, sewage systems and infrastructure. By improving farming practices, farmers will use not as much water, when irrigating or for agriculture. This will also enable farmers to use their fresh water to its full potential, instead of wasting it. Improving sewage systems will also have a huge impact on Jakarta. With some sewage systems already leaking into the ground water of the city, there will be an increase of clean water once they are fixed or replaced. The sewage systems also impact the sanitation levels in Jakarta, with less unclean ground water, there will be a decrease in water borne diseases. Infrastructure is also important to provide drinking water for Jakarta. With poor infrastructure, conservation of fresh water is more difficult, whether basic techniques help flood control and more. With this, the cost will also increase, from improving the infrastructure and implementing new sewage systems, the government has to pay for the action to take place.

Lastly, another solution to Jakarta’s water crisis is the control of pollution or contamination in fresh water. This plays a major part in Jakarta’s water crisis, from people dumping waste in clean rivers to contaminating the ground water with waste. Many rivers in Jakarta are polluted with waste, some from locals in the area or from factories nearby, but either way with the amount of pollution in natural resources, the water cannot be used although it is used anyway in order to survive in Jakarta. This must be implemented, but with some companies, factories and locals they may continue to pollute rivers or ignore what others are saying on the problem.


To reduce the impact to the city of Jakarta on their water crisis the solutions need to be implemented into the community. The two solutions which can make an impact for Jakarta’s water crisis are the control of pollution or contamination and advancing their water conservation technology. These are the two best solutions as controlling pollution and contamination reduces the amount of waste in rivers, ground water and other natural sources of water. Controlling pollution also helps the environment, from wildlife and habitats, to clearing water ways and helping river flow. By advancing their technology, the city will have easy access to fresh water from water treatment facilities. Also, because the rivers and the city’s other natural sources of water are clean with reduced pollution, facilities will be able to treat the water from rivers and use it for everyday use in Jakarta.

Though implementing advanced technology and controlling pollution in the city does help the city significantly in reducing the impact of the water crisis, there are some disadvantages in implementing them into the community. Controlling pollution is very hard, with some locals or factories ignoring the government and continuing to pollute rivers with waste. Advanced technology is also very expensive and though it would also play an important role in reducing Jakarta’s water crisis, the government may not have enough money to fix other facilities or build new facilities.

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Water in the World: Water Crisis in Jakarta, Indonesia. (2022, September 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 22, 2023, from
“Water in the World: Water Crisis in Jakarta, Indonesia.” Edubirdie, 15 Sept. 2022,
Water in the World: Water Crisis in Jakarta, Indonesia. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 22 Sept. 2023].
Water in the World: Water Crisis in Jakarta, Indonesia [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 15 [cited 2023 Sept 22]. Available from:
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