Indonesia is set to restrict groundwater usage in a bid to preserve its water resources and mitigate the ongoing issue of land subsidence in the capital, Jakarta, reports Bloomberg.
The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources will mandate permits for households consuming over 100 cubic meters of water monthly, as revealed by Muhammad Wafid, the acting head of the ministery’s geology agency, on Monday. It’s noteworthy that the majority of households typically utilize around 30 cubic meters per month.
Wafid said: “We don’t want out-of-control water usage,” as it will cause land subsidence which has been recorded in many areas across the northern coast of Java.
The decision will ensure future generations will still have access to groundwater and will prevent further sinking of cities, including Jakarta, which has sung in some areas as much as four meters between 1997 and 2005.
In approximately three years, the government will implement penalties for individuals utilizing groundwater without a proper permit. Farmers not connected to irrigation systems remain exempt from the permit requirement, provided their usage does not exceed two liters per second per family, according to Wafid.
These limits are subject to potential adjustments based on ongoing discussions with stakeholders, he added.
The challenging situation in Jakarta is one of the main reasons behind President Joko Widodo's initiative to relocate the administrative seat to a new capital situated in the heart of Borneo Island. Indonesia initiated the construction of the new capital, Nusantara, in mid-2022 following Widodo's announcement that Jakarta would no longer serve as the capital.