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IWC Seminar on Brantas River Basin Management


Water act was revoked due to the state failure in implementing sixth basic principles of water resources management. The decision had triggered insecurity among water industries (particularly bottled water industries), anxiety of PDAMs (government-owned water company) and other water related government institution, and euphoria for NGOs whose fought to expunge water privatization. MK decision had consequences, for example National Water Council (DSDA-N) and River Basin Territory Organization (BBWS/BWS) had no more legal basis for its authority and function. Meanwhile, BBWS/BWS had important role in designing water resources management plan (POLA and Rencana) in a river basin.
IndoWater CoP saw there was a need to get common understanding among stakeholders on water resources management (WRM) in Brantas river basin and full view on the current situation.
The seminar was held on March 13th 2015 at PDAM Surabaya (government-owned water company). The seminar provided a forum for water users, practitioners, water related government institutions, NGOs, and communities. Keynote speakers were Muhammad Reza Sahib (national coordinator of KRuHA), Emanuel Sudjatmiko (law practitioner), Raymond Valiant (technical director of Jasa Tirta I), Ashari Mardiono (director of PDAM Surabaya), and Said Utomo (chairman of Indonesia Consumer Institution/YLKI).
Two main issues emerged during the discussion: PDAM readiness in providing clean water supply, and delegated regulation to bridge the existing condition. Suppressing water industries meant PDAM had to provide clean water. In fact, many PDAMs are dealing with polluted raw materials (read: river’s water) and water leakage which exceeds 35%. PDAM often faces customer’s complaints about their clean water supply (quality and quantity). They often receive brownish water and experience supply rotation, particularly in dry season.
Using updated technology which able to process polluted water into clean water and changing old and rusty pipes would increase PDAM services. If this action leads into water tariff increment, PDAM should be transparent on their water management cost and implement subsidy for poor household. Indonesian water resources management (WRM) is based on Irrigation act no. 11/1974 after water act was revoked. The problems with irrigation act: (1) it was outdated, (2) managed WRM in general. The irrigation act wasn’t suitable with existing condition meant that delegated regulation was needed immediately.
Public needs to actively participate in overseeing the progress of water bill and pressing government to increase national budget for water provision (now is about 2%). While, government provided spaces for publics to be involve actively and information on the water bill progress.

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