WaterWorX project: WOP Semarang Indonesia

  • Indonesia
  • Indonesia - PDAM Tirta Moedal Kota Semarang

The Water Operator Partnership under the WaterWorX programme between PDAM Tirta Moedal Kota Semarang and VEI was initiated in 2019. Phase I of the project was completed in the year 2021, currently the program is in phase II running from the year 2022 until 2026. The biggest water related problem in Semarang is that the city is increasingly suffering from land subsidence and its related consequences such as frequent flooding. Land subsidence rates are as large as 10 cm per year and especially the coastal and eastern areas are affected by this. One of the main causes of land subsidence are the private groundwater abstractions which, according to research, contributing for 50% of the total land subsidence. The other 50% is mainly due to building weight increase. Shifting away from private abstractions is not easy, households, commercial and industrial entities are generally satisfied with their private abstractions. Changing to PDAM water supply service is in a lot of cases not the logical choice for them, it is in most cases more expensive whereas the service levels are not always better compared to their private abstractions. PDAM as such is operating in a competitive market. The WWX project’s main objective is that the need for private groundwater abstractions can be taken away by providing a better water supply alternative from the PDAM. WaterWorX, in cooperation with other partners, will also encourage the development of policies at local and provincial government level that promote the transition from groundwater based water supply to surface water based water supply. By lowering the private groundwater abstractions one of the main causes of land subsidence can be reduced. 

The peer-to-peer support between experts of the Dutch water utilities united in VEI and their counterpart colleagues of PDAM Semarang is one of the successes of the program. The peer-to-peer cooperation is at the heart of the Water Operator Partnership (WOP) and integrated in each activity. Experts of VEI support the PDAM on hydraulic Modelling, NRW reduction programs, operational water supply control centre, customer relations and water treatment. Jointly these activities contribute to a more reliable water supply and the mainstreaming of customer excellence throughout the organization. As a result PDAM can attract and retain more customers.

On the topic of investment planning the WOP supported PDAM in attracting finance through the by the World Bank financed National Urban Water Supply Program (NUWSP). The WOP continues to support on the development and implementation of investment portfolio management. The WOP will also develop investment proposals for first time access and energy efficiency. These activities together will enable PDAM to better prioritize projects and attracting finance for new investment projects.

PDAM leaders and staff that are well equipped and motivated to build a strong organization is the key factor in achieving and sustaining results targeted by this WOP program. The WOP supports in implementing leadership training programs and professionalizing the HR department and its role in the organization. 

For questions, please contact Thomas de Jong, project manager in Indonesia

Thomas de Jong

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