Posted on 30 April 2014
North Jakarta is sinking rapidly, mainly caused by water extractions (for drinking water purposes). If land subsidence is not slowed down, 80% of North Jakarta will be below sea level in 2030, with sea water levels up to 5 meter above street level. This will be a danger to around 4 million residents and over $ 200 billion of real estate and economic value. At this moment no alternative is available for these water extractions as there is a regional shortage of raw water for piped water supply and land subsidence is therefore expected to continue for some time.
The sinking of the land does not only create a need for high dikes, but it also prevents 13 rivers and canals to flow freely to the sea. North Jakarta is turning into a deep, densely populated polder. Huge drainage pumps are required together with large pumping/retention lakes (‘waduk’) to absorb flood water.
The government of The Netherlands provides funds to involve an expert team from Indonesia and the Netherlands consisting of over 40 technical, financial, urban and organizational experts and engineers from 5 of the major consulting companies in The Netherlands on water management, financial aspects and urban development. Most of the civil engineering work is done by experienced Indonesian engineers, assisted by Netherlands water management experts. Dutch minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen presented the draft version of the 1400 page Dutch-Indonesian National Capital Integrated Coastal Development (NCICD) master plan in Jakarta in April 2014.
By adopting the Master Plan, the Government of Indonesia, establish it as the framework for further spatial, institutional and financial planning and commit to further elaboration.
Short term measures: an opportunity for coastal revitalisation
Strengthening the sea defences and associated river embankments requires more than civil engineering. The areas surrounding the sea wall and embankments are often densely populated and used for various purposes. Upgrading the defences could create serious socio-economic impacts on (vulnerable) low-income communities. An integrated approach, including urban and social measures is of paramount importance. If done properly, the upgrading of sea defences could lead to revitalisation of the coastline: it provides much needed room for roads, housing and economic activities. However, works need to start soon to protect the capital and an integrated taskforce will be required to both work in an integrated, socially responsible manner and to complete the works in a short period of time.
Medium and long term measures
In Phase B (2018-2040), the Outer Sea Wall in the west side of the bay will be constructed together with land reclamations and road connections. The subsidence in this part of the National Capital is at the highest rate, requiring a large sea wall with ‘waduk’ before 2025. In stage C (starting in 2030), the east side of the bay will be closed off (the deadline depending on subsidence rate).
Great Garuda: a vision for future development
After fine-tuning the programme to minimize costs, maximize revenues and solve various feasibility issues (availability of sand), a land reclamation in the shape of a garuda - the iconic symbol of Indonesia - with a size of 1250 hectares was designed. This design can be realised over a period of 25 years.
The implementation of the NCICD program creates substantial funding, organizational and governance needs over a period of more than 20 years. Effective funding and institutional arrangements must be put in place to ensure a sustainable delivery on the projects safety and environmental objectives and to foster the large socio-economic development potential from the project.
The Indonesian government expressed the ambition to create revenues to finance the Outer Sea Wall (construction costs $ 4-5 billion). These revenues should be generated by land reclamations, toll roads, port development and sale of bulk water from the created retention reservoirs. To generate sufficient revenues in this deep water area (up to 16 meters water depth), a highly attractive area for investors (but also residents) needs to be created.