Nina A. Loasana, Jakarta – Jakarta-owned tap water company PAM Jaya is working to expand the city's tap water coverage from 65 percent to 100 percent to ensure Indonesia's capital becomes water self-sufficient by 2030.
"We currently have a 11,900-kilometer water pipeline and the total production capacity stands at 20,727 liters per second [lps] to cover 888,342 customers as of October," PAM Jaya president director Bambang Hernowo told a virtual public discussion on Wednesday, as quoted from a press release.
"This means that our tap water coverage is only at 65 percent [of households]."
PAM Jaya has five strategies to increase its tap water coverage ranging from building more water treatment plants (WTPs) to finding alternative sources of funding, according to Bambang.
The company is currently developing WTPs and drinking water systems to increase its raw-water supply especially from inside the city.
Jakarta has long relied on Jatiluhur Dam in West Java for 82 percent of its raw-water supply. The dam captures water from the Citarum River – one of the dirtiest rivers in the world.
Another 12 percent is supplied by Tangerang regency-run water company PDAM Tirta Kerta Raharja in Banten while the city's Pesanggrahan and Krukut rivers can only supply 6 percent of the water needed.
PAM Jaya is developing drinking-water systems in Ciliwung with a capacity of 200 lps and in Pesanggrahan with 750 lps. These projects, as well as a recently completed drinking-water system in Hutan Kota in North Jakarta with a capacity of 500 lps, are expected to provide additional water supplies for people living in Jakarta.
"We have recently finished the Hutan Kota water system and we're planning to upgrade our water facility in Buaran from 1,000 lps production capacity to 4,000 lps," Bambang said.
The company is also waiting for the completion of two central government projects: the Jatiluhur drinking-water system in West Java that could supply up to 4,000 lps of tap water and the project in Karian, Banten, that could produce 3,200 lps.
Meanwhile, PAM Jaya also aims to reduce water losses, known as non-revenue water, by replacing old pipes and water meters and preventing illegal connections.
"We have to reduce non-revenue water to increase our supply," Bambang said.
PAM Jaya will also launch campaigns to educate Jakarta residents on the importance of saving water and switching from using groundwater to tap water. The rapid groundwater exploitation is often blamed for causing land subsidence in the capital city.
"PAM Jaya has a pivotal role to play in providing tap water as an alternative for groundwater. Thus, we need to educate more residents to switch to tap water," Bambang said.
The Jakarta administration, however, has reduced its capital injection for PAM Jaya as the COVID-19 crisis battered the city, forcing the company to seek alternative sources of income, Bambang said, without detailing exactly how his company would accomplish that.
"We need huge funding to expand our services. We need around Rp 27 trillion [US$1.9 billion] to 28 trillion to reach 100 percent tap water coverage," he said.