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25 February 2013

Mott MacDonald helps improve water supply in Indonesia

Mott MacDonald is providing technical assistance for a project that will address water shortages in Indonesia’s third largest city, Bandung, and its surrounding areas.

Watershed degradation, rapid urbanisation and industrialisation, as well as slow development of surface water sources, have created overdependence on groundwater as a primary source of water. As a result, the rate of water extraction from local aquifers significantly exceeds recharge rates, with water tables declining at more than 1 metre a year in some areas. This has led to acute water stress and depletion of aquifers in major urban areas such as Bandung.

The National Development Planning Agency has commissioned Mott MacDonald to prepare a water supply master plan. This includes a management plan for groundwater upper catchment management areas. The consultancy will also identify reforms needed to strengthen the water supply system.

Bandung lies on the Citarum river basin which provides 80% of the water consumed in the capital city Jakarta and surrounding areas. It supports a population of about 30 million, contributes 20% of the country’s industrial outputs and produces 5% of the country’s rice.

“Loss of forest cover and unsustainable farming practices on steep slopes in the upper catchments has resulted in reduced infiltration of rainfall, inhibiting groundwater recharge and contributing to rapid run-off of surface water. Sustainable management of surface and groundwater is critical to the country’s economic development and food security,” commented Hero Heering, Mott MacDonald’s project director.

The project is due for completion in 2014.


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