Ministry suggests ‘recharging’ groundwater supply
City News – March 09, 2007

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The State Ministry for Research and Technology has proposed building what are known as “recharge ponds” at suitable locations in the city to maintain the level or flow of rivers in the dry season and prevent flooding in the rainy season.

State Minister Kusmayanto Kadiman met last week with city administration officials to discuss the plan to build structures to catch rainfall or storm runoff and slowly release it, either into surface streams or the aquifer.

He said researchers had identified 40 suitable locations for the ponds comprising 820 hectares of land in total.

They include the watersheds of Ciliwung River in Central and West Jakarta, Sunter and Angke rivers in North Jakarta, Cipinang and Buaran rivers in East Jakarta and Mampang, Krukut and Pesanggrahan rivers in South Jakarta.

“The ponds would slow down the flow of the water, forcing more to go into the aquifer,” he said after meeting with city administration officials.

The aquifer is an underground layer of water-permeable rock or unconsolidated material such as gravel, sand, silt or clay, from which groundwater can be extracted.

Deputy to the minister Idwan Suhardi said many underground rivers had silted up, reducing their capacity to hold water.

He said the ministry was building a recharge pond at the University of Indonesia’s Depok campus, which was estimated to cost Rp 2 billion (US$222,000)

Located on the campus’ dam, the pond will channel water from the dam into the aquifer.

Idwan said the other recharge ponds would be less complicated to build than the one at the university.

“They will be built at the location of underground rivers that are so silted up they no longer flow. We have the technology to pinpoint the exact locations.”

Governor Sutiyoso said the administration would adopt the plan, which complemented its flood control programs.

“We will present all of the projects to the House of Representatives later this month to get financial support.”

The city water regulatory body had previously recommended the construction of underground reservoirs to replenish groundwater supplies and prevent flooding. (04)