An intriguing case study of Batam’s water infrastructure

In a session will be discussed in detail at Water Infrastructure Indonesia, Benny Andrianto, Vice President, & Director of PT. Adhya Tirta Batam, talks about the water infrastructure challenges in Batam, and how these obstacles can be overcome. He also talks about the future of Batam’s water supply.
Bryan Camoens: What are some of the challenges to devising effective strategies to meet the rapidly increasing Population in Batam:
Benny Andrianto: Batam basically has to become an investment destination. From only 100,000 people in 1995, slightly more than 1.2 million people live in Batam now. This is definitely not a natural growth, but because of people migration! When we talk about growth the only solution is to control the growth itself. Local Governments need to deal with this issue.
Since 1999, the Indonesia Government started with autonomy era, and since then Major Offices (local government) had existed in Batam, whilst ATB’s contract with BIDA (Batam Industrial Development Authority). This creates a conflict, and therefore it will create difficulty to implement the policy. Local Government and Local parliaments need to be taken care of, and they reserve the right not to be ignored. Any tariff adjustment will always be problem, whilst ATB has to to invest in significant amount to cover high demand. Because any investment will need a return, right?
Culture is another problem; many people tend to steal the water. There are some areas which we call it Kampong Tua or indigenous areas. There is no an official land certificate on those areas, therefore ATB cannot give a new connection. So stealing water is the solution for them, everyone needs water, no exception. This situation potentially tends to increase the NRW figure.
Bryan Camoens: Could you please helps us understanding the current water situation in Batam Island and the key challenges faced by PT. Adhya Tirta Batam
Benny Andrianto: Batam is only an island, unfortunately there is no river and economic well that could be used in this island. Rain is the only water resource in Batam. There are 6 Dams in Batam with total Capacity nearly 3,850 l/s. Precipitation is about 2,454 mm/ year, which is not bad, and there is no dry season in Batam. However if we are lucky Batam will only last till 2017. Some additional raw water source will be needed, since population growth apparently can’t be stopped. Easily we can say Batam will be dealing with raw water scarcity in the near future
Bryan Camoens: When evaluating the current water demand and projecting the demand with the growing population what are some of the most common challenges faced?
Benny Andrianto: Some of the major issues that need to be addressed are the existing raw water capacity. The amount of investment and tariff, as well as the ambiguity government policy (BIDA/ PEMKO) . What also needs to be understood is the culture as I mentioned earlier. The climate, although something that we can’t control, needs to be understood to remove wastages and increase the efficiency and output of water in Batam Island.
Bryan Camoens: What are some of the challenges to optimising the use of water supply in Batam Island through usage of the right technologies and implementation of the right strategies?
Benny Andrianto: Tariff! Any new technology will trigger additional investment. Investments will need strong funding, strong funding will need good cash flow, and tariffs seem to be the only answer. Any tariff adjustment will always be hated by the people, do you think they prepare to extend the concession period otherwise.
Bryan Camoens: Looking ahead, what plans do you have for the water supply in Batam Island by 2015 and 2020 respectively?
Benny Andrianto: Some additional raw water will need to be realized in the next couple of years, and needs to be ready by 2016. Also the operation efficiency with reducing NRW needs to be increased. An education programme to encourage people to save water needs to be realised to reduce the consumption of water per capita. Additionally population growth control needs to be addressed and a water desalination plant which recycles water could be a reality in the near future. Some of the above issues need to be handled by the Government, rather than the water operator.
Benny Andrianto, will be devising effective strategies to meet the rapidly increasing population in Batam at Water Infrastructure Indonesia. Email to register for the event or visit
Source: IQPC