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System thinking application on

Environmental Sustainability Issue: Jakarta is Sinking

2009

Prepared by

Ardi W K
Environmental Sustainability Issue: Jakarta is Sinking

Contents

Introduction............................................................................................................................................. 3
Environmental Sustainability Issue .......................................................................................................... 3
Analysis .................................................................................................................................................. 4
Solution................................................................................................................................................... 7
Conclusion .............................................................................................................................................. 8
Reference ................................................................................................................................................ 9

List of Table
Table 1 - Jakarta Subsidence .................................................................................................................... 3

List of Graph
Graph 1 - Behaviour Over Time .............................................................................................................. 7

List of Figures

Figure 1 - Population Density per Km2 .................................................................................................... 3


Figure 2 - Ground Water Stock & Flow ................................................................................................... 4
Figure 3 - Jakarta Population Stock & Flow ............................................................................................. 5
Figure 4 - Sinking Jakarta Stock & Flow ................................................................................................. 6

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Environmental Sustainability Issue: Jakarta is Sinking

Introduction

Jakarta is the capital city of Indonesia, it is one of the fastest developing city in South East Asia. Despite
as one of the fast developing major cities in South Asia, Jakarta also faced overdevelopment problem.
The purpose of this report is to identify the sustainability issue faced by people in Jakarta and surface the
issue for immediate prevention action. This report will start introducing the environmental sustainability
issue in Jakarta focusing in excessive ground water consumption. Furthermore, analysis of the issue will
be performed using stock and flow followed by suggested solution to overcome the issue by identify
possible intervention points.

Environmental Sustainability Issue


Indonesia development has centralized on its Figure 1 - Population Density per Km2
capital city which makes Jakarta have the
highest population density in the Country. As DKI Jakarta
seen of figure 1, population density in Jakarta Jawa Barat

is high beyond other province/city. According Jawa Tengah

to Statistics Indonesia, in 2005 Jakarta DI Yogyakarta

population counted at 8.8 million people and Jawa Timur

it is estimated that in 2025 would increase up Banten


Bali
to 9.2 million. High density population in Source: Statistic Indonesia
Jakarta is caused by several main factors. One
of the main factors is centralization development; consequently there is lack of development growth in
other city. This factor triggers high rate of urbanization whereas many people from outside Jakarta came
to Jakarta to find better jobs. With high level of population density, there are high level of needs and
consumption; these include clean water needs for daily use. Like many cities in Indonesia and several
major cities in South East Asia, Jakarta heavily depends on ground water to fulfill their water needs.

Table 1 - Jakarta Subsidence

Height above Height above


Land Nielsen (2005 pp. 74-5) suggest that
Location Sea Level in Sea Level in
Subsidence
1993 2005 excessive withdrawal of ground
(m) (m) (cm)
North Jakarta 2.03 1.46 57 water is one of the threat to a large
West Jakarta 2.32 2.11 21
East Jakarta 11.62 11.45 17
cities and it cause ground to subside.
South Jakarta 28.76 28.46 30 According to Honorine (2009), 60%
Central Jakarta 3.42 2.4 102
Source :Jakarta City Mining Agency - US Embassy Jakarta

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Environmental Sustainability Issue: Jakarta is Sinking

of residents in Jakarta are not connected to the water grid.

Even though there are state-owned water utility companies that run piped water through the cities but the
network pipe does not cover the whole area and water flow from the pipeline water also considerably
poor especially during peak hours. Because of these, many people in Jakarta still used ground water. As
reported by ABC News (2008) studies estimated in 2025, Jakarta will be submerged by seawater.

As stated by Ham (2009) "We're predicting a five-centimeter rise by 2025. Jakarta, itself, sinks by,
on average, five centimeters per year. Jakarta is sinking for a very straightforward reason: It's
because of ground-water extraction… This type of ground-water extraction drains the aquifer
completely and it creates a vacuum. Then the weight of the buildings push it down and it fills the
cavity of the aquifer and, therefore, Jakarta sinks."

As shown on table 1, that Jakarta in each area is sinking, in Central Jakarta even has subside by more than
1 meter.

Analysis

It is clear that evidences show that if there is no action to cope with this issue, Jakarta will sink. In order
to surface this issue and initiate government and people awareness of this sustainability issue, this report
will use stock and flow to give more simplified understanding on the issue and come with a suggested
solution to intervene and hopefully can avoid Jakarta to sink.

The issue started when the water ground replenishment rate and the consumption is unbalanced. As
illustrated in figure 2, the flow in from the replenishment is lower than its drain through massive
consumption, hence the level of ground water is decreasing. As stated by Colbran (2009, p.27)”This
excessive level of groundwater use is exacerbated by the failure to replenish groundwater at a sufficient
rate.”

Figure 2 - Ground Water Stock & Flow

Ground Water
Replenishment Consumption

Aquifer Population
Precipitation Area Piped Water Service Quality

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Environmental Sustainability Issue: Jakarta is Sinking

The increase of water ground consumption in Jakarta is caused by several factors. The first factor is the
network coverage only cover 60% of Jakarta and it is does not means that all of the 60% of Jakarta
resident utilize the piped water. The service quality also can be considered poor, as in many areas flow of
the water is quite poor especially during peak hours. In inflow side there is natural replacement of water
ground. Water ground is kept within a layer of rock that named aquifer. The aquifer receives water from
precipitation area which absorbs water from rain, river or any water stream. However the process takes
time and it really depends on the charge rate of the aquifer and the size of aquifer.

These explain why the rate of consumption is higher than the replenishment. Furthermore, number of
consumption are also based on number of population in Jakarta, hence increasing population in Jakarta
area accelerate further the number of consumption.

Figure 3 - Jakarta Population Stock & Flow

Jakarta Population
Growth Rate Leave Rate

Birth Rate Urbanisation Development Death Rate Transmigration

Population in Jakarta are affected by several factors, increasing population is triggered by two factors as
shown on figure 3, which are birth rate and urbanization. In this matter, urbanization is higher than birth
rate, this caused centralized development which development rate in Jakarta is far beyond other the
development rate in other cities in Indonesia. Decrease in Jakarta population is up to 2 factors which are
death rate and transmigration. In this case the growth rate is higher than the leave rate hence the
population is increasing. With the two situations combine, the ground water keeps decreasing which
shown on figure 4.

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Environmental Sustainability Issue: Jakarta is Sinking

Figure 4 - Sinking Jakarta Stock & Flow

Pipeline Water Quality


Ground Water
Replenishment

Ground Water Consumption


Consumption
Jakarta Ground Level
Green Area Available Aquifer
for Percipitation

Jakarta Livable Area

Growth Rate Jakarta Population Leave Rate

Pressure to Earth

Transmigration

Death Rate Building

Birth Rate Urbanisation Development

As illustrated on figure 4, with increase in the number of population it requires development of the city
and it is positively related with number of building in the city. With more building there will be more
pressure to the earth as well as less precipitation area. With more pressure to the earth it is belief that it
would lower Jakarta ground level, as supported by Ham (2009) “ Then the weight of the buildings push it
down and it fills the cavity of the aquifer and, therefore, Jakarta sinks.” Graph 5 shows the estimated
behavior over time with current situation. As the number of population increase to a such level, the
consumption of ground water is high beyond its limit hence Jakarta start sinking and eventually come to a
level below the sea level, therefore Jakarta submerged and there will be no livable area left. As reported
by Tiromihardjo (2009) “With the increasing extraction of groundwater, water levels have dropped by
one to three metres a year during the last ten years and are locally at 20 to 40 metres below mean sea
level.”

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Environmental Sustainability Issue: Jakarta is Sinking

Graph 1 - Behaviour Over Time

120

100

80

60

40

20

0
1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025

Population Ground Water Jakarta Livable Area

Graph 5 shows estimated behavior over time that the if the population increase up to a certain level, it will
increase the consumption of the ground water which leads to Jakarta subside hence reduce the livable
area in Jakarta. As the livable area curve reach its bottom limit, the number of population would decrease
dramatically and at that point it would be the irreversible point.

Solution

Looking at the situation, there are two possible points to intervene the system which are direct and
indirect. The direct intervention would be intervene in introducing law or policy regarding this issue, as
reported by Colbran (2009, p. 20) “However, historically the importance of groundwater has not been
reflected in law or government policy.” However, before introducing the new policy, the government
should start to fix the quality of the water flow from piped water system and expand the coverage pipeline
network. Hence the improved piped water services will support the policy to restraint the use of ground
water.

The indirect intervention as suggested by figure 4 would be control Jakarta population. As stated by Harf
& Lombardi (2007, p. 3) “Thus problems relating to population growth may, in fact, be at the heart of
most global issues.” The indirect interventions would be more on national level which the direct is on
state level. One of the indirect solution is to reduce the urbanization rate by improving transmigration
program and supported with development in other area hence create more job opportunities in other city
or province. Improved birth control program as introduced by Government of Indonesia in earlier years

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would reduce the rate of the population. The birth control program as known as Keluarga Berencana or
Family Planning, recommends family to limit their number of children to two children.

Conclusion
Using the stock and flow enable easier understanding of the issue, and it allows easier to identify the
leverage point to intervene the system. Jakarta is sinking, hence it is very important to introduce the issue
for all the people in Jakarta as well as the policymaker for immediate prevention action. Otherwise there
will be no livable area in Jakarta and it would be the end of Jakarta.

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Reference
ABC News, (2008). Indonesia's thirsty capital is a sinking city. ABC News. Retrieved from
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/04/15/2217414.htm

Colbran, N. (2009). Will Jakarta be the Next Atlantis? Excessive Groundwater Use Resulting from a
Failing Piped Water Network: 5/1 Law, Environment and Development Journal. Retrieved from
http://www.lead-journal.org/content/09018.pdf

Ham, H. (2009). Man Made Floods Plague Jakarta. VOA News. Retrieved from
http://www.voanews.com/english/archive/2009-04/2009-04-21-voa22.cfm?moddate=2009-04-21

Harf, J. E., & Lombardi, M. O. (2007). Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Global Issues . 4th ed.
Iowa:Mcgraw-Hill

Honorine, S. (2009). Man Made Floods Plague Jakarta. VOA News. Retrieved from
http://www.voanews.com/english/archive/2009-04/2009-04-21-voa22.cfm?moddate=2009-04-21

US Embassy Jakarta (2005). Indonesia: Environment, Science & Technology, and Health Highlights
February-March 2005. Retrieved from
http://www.usembassyjakarta.org/econ/ESTH_highlight_feb-march05.html.

Nielsen, R. (2005). The Little Green Handbook: A guide to critical global trends. Melbourne:Scribe
Publications

Statistic Indonesia. (2009). Population Growth Rate and Total. Retrieved from http://www.datastatistik-
indonesia.com/proyeksi/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=919&Itemid=935

Tirtomihardjo, H. (1996). Urban Groundwater Database, Directorate of Environmental Geology.


Retrieved from http://www.scar.utoronto.ca/~gwater/IAHCGUA/UGD/jakarta.html.