Three Indonesian Cities Declared Subsidence ‘Red Zones’

Jakarta Globe 13 Nov 12;

Three of Indonesia’s biggest cities — Jakarta, Bandung and Semarang — have reported alarming land subsidence rates due to large-scale suction of groundwater by industries, the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry said on Tuesday.

Jakarta reported the worst rate of subsidence, sinking up to 10 centimeters per year, followed by Semarang at between six and seven centimeters annually. Bandung sinks approximately five centimeters per year.

“Jakarta may sink if we let the situation be. The land subsidence also brings threats of infrastructure and building damage,” said Dodid Murdohardono, the head of the ministry’s Groundwater Resources and Environment Geology Center, during a workshop on groundwater information systems in Jakarta.

He said the three cities had been declared “red zones” due to their groundwater and subsidence problems. Some other big cities such as Medan and Surabaya had also reported subsidence, he added, although their rates were not as dramatic as the three red zones.

Dodid said the problem was attributable to various industries’ large-scale use of groundwater, adding that individuals’ domestic use was still within an agreeable limit.

He urged local administrations to restrict industrial use of groundwater by tightening conditions for the issuance of relevant permits.

The central government is drafting a national groundwater information system to map groundwater potentials and conditions across the country, Dodid added.

“I’ve just been informed that [the president] has signed the government regulation [on the system],” he said, according to Indonesian news portal