- Inclusive development of urban water services in Jakarta: The role of groundwater
- Habitat International
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- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This paper applies the perspective of inclusive development to the development goals – past and present – for increasing access to urban water supply. We do so in order to call attention to the importance of ecological sustainability in meeting targets related to equity of access in cities of the global south. We argue that in cities where the majority of urban water circulates outside a formally operated centralized piped systems, inequities in access are grounded in conditions of deep ecological vulnerability. We examine this relationship between environment and equity of access in the context of Jakarta, Indonesia, where failure to address contamination and over abstraction of groundwater has exacerbated inequalities in access to water within and beyond the centralized piped network. We first present research results from in-depth interviews with key informants and secondary data to document the role of shallow sub-surface and deep contained aquifer groundwater within urban water services and causes and implications of declining groundwater quality. We then explore the uneven impact of this degradation through a comparative case study of water access strategies in two low-income settlements. Survey results reveal the significance of shallow sub-surface groundwater services for the poorest residents, and negative impacts of declining groundwater quality on equity in terms of cost and volume of consumption between income groups. We conclude that for urban water services to be inclusive, environmental and social priorities need to extend beyond piped water.
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