Fri, 19 Jan 2007
From: The Jakarta Post
By Adisti Sukma Sawitri, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
Jakarta water company PT PAM Jaya says it is deploying all its resources to ensure continued tap water services for customers, as the water level at Jatiluhur Dam continues to fall amid unseasonably high temperatures.

PAM Jaya president director Haryadi Priyohutomo said Wednesday at City Hall it was operating all 17 of its water pumps to maintain production of 16,100 liters per second, or 93.4 percent of normal production levels.

As of Wednesday morning, water level at the dam, located in West Java, was 83.99 meters, far below the normal level of 105 meters.

Production at the dam was only 68 percent of normal levels on Tuesday.

"This is good progress although I doubt that it will last if we can't get more water to the dam soon," Haryadi said.

He said the company was planning to obtain more water from Cirata Dam, which is located near Jatiluhur. Cirata is operated by the Mining and Mineral Resources Ministry.

Tap water services in Jakarta have suffered during the past week because of shortages of raw water supplies from Jatiluhur.

PAM Jaya reported that about 192,000 of a total of 720,000 tap water customers in the city had experienced service interruptions from its two foreign operators -- PT Thames PAM Jaya (TPJ) and PT PAM Lyonnaise Jaya (Palyja).

To anticipate water shortages in its coverage area, Palyja has deployed 26 mobile water tanks. In the meantime, TPJ has sent three water tanks to central and northern parts of Jakarta, where tap water service has been spottiest.

Each tank can hold 4,000 to 5,000 liters of water.

Jatiluhur is the main supplier of untreated water for the city. Environmental degradation between the dam and the water's final destination at Tarum Barat River in East Jakarta and recent weather changes have affected the quantity and quality of the raw water supply to the capital.

A recent drought has complicated matters, because water from the dam also is used for agricultural activities, particularly for farmland between the intersection of the Tarum Barat and Bekasi rivers.

Governor Sutiyoso said that although it was important to secure the raw water supply to the city, he did not want to build a canal along the Bekasi River using money from the city budget.

"It is the responsibility of the central government to provide the infrastructure since it also relates to the interests of other regions," he said.

Sutiyoso said he would ask for the central government's help if the tap water crisis was not resolved within a month.



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