Indonesia collaborates to treat water management at 10th World Water Forum

The PLTS in the Cirata reservoir, West Java, Indonesia

At the 10th World Water Forum (WWF) high level meeting (HLM) in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, President Joko Widodo highlighted the achievements of his administration in building and strengthening domestic water infrastructure.

“In the last 10 years, Indonesia has strengthened its water infrastructure by building 42 dams; 1.18 million hectares of irrigation networks; and 2,156km of flood control and coastal protection; as well as rehabilitating 4.3 million hectares of irrigation networks,” he said in his opening speech.

The President said that water is also utilised for a floating solar power plant (PLTS) in the Cirata reservoir, West Java, as the largest floating PLTS in South East Asia. He added that the World Bank research estimated that water shortages could slow down economic growth by up to 6% by 2050.

“Water scarcity can also trigger war and can be a source of disaster. Too much water or too little water can both be a problem for the world,” he said. The 10th WWF is said to revitalise real action and joint commitment in realising integrated water resources management.

The need to preserve local wisdom to treat water as a cultural value inherited from our ancestors is also important. Widodo added that the Subak irrigation system in Bali province is a form of such local wisdom, practiced since the 11th century and recognised as a world cultural heritage. The water resources have important cultural value for Indonesian people.

This is in line with the WWF’s current theme of ‘Water for shared prosperity’ which can be interpreted into three basic principles. They are avoiding competition, prioritising equality and inclusive cooperation, and supporting peace and shared prosperity. “All three can only be realised with collaboration,” Jokowi said.

The 10th WWF is taking place in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, from 18-25 May 2024 under six sub-themes, namely ‘Water security and prosperity’, ‘Water for humans and nature’, ‘Disaster risk reduction and management’, ‘Governance, cooperation and hydro-diplomacy’, ‘Sustainable water finance’, and ‘Knowledge and innovation’.