In the past few years the surface of ground water in Yogyakarta has continued to decrease due to the construction of many new hotels, apartments, malls, and other commercial buildings. It is estimated that five sub-districts of Yogyakarta: Gondokusuman, Mergangsan, Mantrijeron, Jetis, and Umbulharjo will experience water crisis.
“The Gondokusuman sub-district is the most vulnerable to water crisis due to its dense population and the presence of many hotels in the area that absorp the ground water from their surroundings,” said Director of Amrta Institute, Nila Ardhianie, on Tuesday (15/8) during a discussion themed Independence and Water for Residents in the University Club (UC) UGM. Other speakers were Prof. Frans Limahelu (Unair), Hendro Sangkoyo (Sekolah Ekonomika Demokratif), and Hermawanto (law consultant).
The number of hotels in Yogyakarta increases each year. At least there are 350 hotels in Yogyakarta that accommodate 15,000 rooms in addition to 30 apartments with 12,000 rooms.
“Hotels and apartments use ground water to meet their water needs, which obviously affect the water supplies in their surroundings,” she said.
According to Nila, dependence of Yogyakarta people on ground water is very high at 51.83% compared to Jakarta and other big cities that meet the water demands with surface water or tap water.
Nila mentioned that most hotels and apartments do not use the tap water from the PDAM state water companies due to the high costs. For instance, a hotel with 400 rooms would have to pay Rp2 billions per month for the water costs while it takes them only Rp500 millions to drill wells.
Teguh Eko Paripurno, geologist from Universitas Pembangunan Nasional Veteran Yogyakarta, said the surface ground water in Yogyakarta and Sleman continues to decrease by 20-35 cm each year, making it difficult for residents to have access to ground water.
He called on all to improve water management, including by increasing water recharge or biopores to resolve the water crisis issue. “Make sure that water recharge is equal to what is taken to prevent from disadvantaging other people. Everyone can play their role to have water recharge,” he said.