Water Works of Sydney and Indonesia Uncovered Josey Tan

Water management is crucial in every part of the world. To ensure everyone in the country has the right amount in supply of water, they must learn to manage and store it to the best of their abilities. The water must be clean, without any toxins or harmful bacteria. Australia is one of the driest countries in the developed world and their use is so much more than what their supply can handle. Indonesia is the 4th most populous country with enough water to satisfy the needs but have encountered many problems within.

Warragamba Dam

Sydney populates over 4.5 million people. Warragamba Dam supplies water to 80% of Sydney with clean, drinkable water.

Water NSW runs catchment protection activities to ensure Sydney has high quality, raw water that covers a total area of 9050kmĀ². The Coxs River and the Wollondillly flow through the catchment.

Managing water Polution

Managing water is crucial when 80% of the population rely heavily on one dam. Some of these strategies can include:

  • pest and weed control
  • hazard reduction burns
  • education of council staff and community
  • fencing
  • erosion control barriers
  • State Environmental Planning Policy
Sydney's Problems

Although Sydney's water quality is one of the best, many problems can occur.

  • Animals can potentially contaminate the water with disease and bacteria
  • Sediment can be eroded into the water through runoff
  • Algal bloom can take away the oxygen away from the water and affect the taste and smell of it - Eutrophication
  • Phosphorus and nitrogen can contaminate the water
  • Pesticides and chemicals can contaminate runoff water from crops and farms
Water Catchment Issues with the Land

Due to water catchments needing land to direct water into the dam, a large amount of land is needed.

  • 35% is used for Livestock and Grazing
  • 28% is used as Conservation Area
  • 13% is used for Horticulture
  • 4% is used for Forestry
  • 3% is used for Rural and Urban Residential Areas
  • 17% has Minimal Land Use

Managing this land is a difficult task when more than 50% of that land is private property. For this, community partnership is vital for effective catchment management to ensure the water stays as clean and in the best quality possible.

Indonesia's Water

Out of the massive amount of people populating Indonesia (255 million), 33.4 million don't have access to safe water and 99.7 million don't have access to improved sanitation.

Indonesia's water supply satisfies the needs of its population but the distribution of water across the country is uneven, there is poor management of water and a major lack of infrastructure. This problem is causing parts of the country to have an insufficient amount of access to water

Water Pollution in Indonesia

Water pollution is mainly caused by waste coming from houses. This occurs in the more metropolitan cities such as Jakarta, Surabaya and Medan.

The 2004 Census data BPS has shown that 22% of households do not have proper sanitation, leading to potential pollutants in public waters. This causes a decrease in the water quality.

55% of households in Jakarta have underground reservoirs with the distance of each reservoir to the nearest waste disposal being less than 10m away. The reservoirs are made by bacteria and can easily contaminate the water.

Housing Problems

In 1999, Indonesia's constructed buildings on river beds had increased by 38% since 1996. The increase is a clear indication that the population was greatly increasing and the amount of water waste going from houses into public waters was increasing. The water quality decreased and became a health hazard to drink.

Indonesia's Agriculture

The use of fertilizers and pesticides within agriculture is also a major pollutant in Indonesia's water sources. In 2004, the use of non-organic fertilizers and pesticides went up to 1.5 million kg and 109 kg respectively. Most of the residue would go into the runoff and end up in the river's water.

Jokowi's Plan

Joko Widodo, Indonesia's President since 2014, stated in his electoral campaign a promise to build 65 dams during his 5-year term in office. He wants to improve Indonesia's water irrigation system, which will play a major part to the development of Indonesia's water management.

Construction of Dams

The Indonesian government's focus is on improving the amount of water, available in the agricultural sectors. Currently, there are 22 dams under construction across the archipelago (band of islands that make up the country) with 9.12 trillion Rupiah going into funding for another 8 dams to be built.

The Dams will help benefit the agricultural sector but only for a short amount of time. They allow for a wider adoption of irrigation into the land. Addressing demand-side pressure will help to ensure the water security in the long run and increase the water quality that is being provided across the country.

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