Go to book Subsidence

Stop the Subsidence!

Reduction of Groundwater Extraction

In the Greater Jakarta area, metropolitan authorities and technical agencies are advocating the reduction of groundwater extraction in vulnerable areas by completely phasing out the use of groundwater and taxing groundwater consumption.

This should include the development of alternative water supplies for large industrial users or relocation of large groundwater users, outside the ‘critical zones’. The number of ‘unregistered’ users is still a problem. To some extent, spatial planning measures were applied to avoid subsidence-prone areas, but rapid growth of informal settlements has made many of these plans obsolete. Recently, the Jakarta Coastal Defense Strategy (JCDS) programme integrated the results of various subsidence studies and tried to obtain reliable figures of current and future subsidence. This subsidence prognosis is regarded as an extremely vital component for an integrated flood management and coastal defense strategy

Relocation of the City’s Informal Settlements

City officials have already begun attempting to return some of northern Jakarta to nature via relocation of the city’s informal settlements.

Critics of this resettlement prefer the term eviction, as residents without official registration documents are forced out their homes without being resettled in government housing. The practice disproportionally affects poor communities living near the coast. Some have accused the government of using flood risk as an excuse to evict poor residents to make way for new commercial apartments and business districts. This increases the feeling of distrust toward political officials and has led to riots in the past.


Informal settlements in Jakarta

Building with Nature

One proposed solution is to restore the northern coastline of Jakarta to its natural state as much as possible to relieve some of the pressure of flooding, while still supporting economic activities in the area. By allowing space for mangroves to flourish, nature provides a barrier against waves and storage for excess water during storms.


Building with nature