Jakarta is sinking: the city of over 10 million people is been plagued by over extraction and poor upstream management, making it one of Vector Center’s most likely Day Zero cities, where freshwater supplies are at risk. Vector Center’s J. Carl Ganter and Jennifer Möller-Gulland profiled the city in the Wilson Quarterly writing:
Driven either by lack of reliable water supplies from the utilities, or by the cost savings from these individual wells, the unregulated pumping is causing land subsidence and making Jakarta one of the world’s fastest sinking cities.
“One can’t reverse subsidence,” observes Khalil of the World Bank. “You can’t stabilize or slow it down. Experience from other cities show that it takes 10 to 20 years after all groundwater abstraction has been stopped for subsidence to stabilize. Actions are urgent and can’t be further delayed.”
With only 4 percent of Jakartans connected to the sewage network—the second lowest coverage of a capital in Southeast Asia—the majority of households like Toyib’s depend on pit latrines and makeshift septic tanks for sanitation.