Access to piped drinking water in Indonesia is clogged with difficulties

7 June 2021

Spire consultant Prastowo Ragawi shares his perspectives on the status quo and challenges facing Indonesia’s efforts to improve access to piped drinking water. 

An online social media post lamenting the jammed water pipe on @pemalang.update sparked a viral social debate around Indonesians’ limited access to clean and safe piped drinking water. Although access to drinking water has been named a national development priority in Indonesia, its Drinking Water Supply System (SPAM) remains plagued by poor performance. 

In principle, the SPAM is an integral part of Indonesia’s drinking water supply infrastructure, and is designed to meet what is known as the ‘4Ks’: Quantity (Kuantitas) (min. basic need of 60 litres/person/day), Quality (Kualitas), Continuity (Kontinuitas) and Affordability (Keterjangkauan). There has been some progress. Data from the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) shows that Safe Access to drinking water has risen from 86.44% in 2016 to 89.27% in 2019, and targets to reach 100% by 2024. 

However, Spire’s research with on four Regional Drinking Water Companies (PDAM) in Central Java found some prevailing challenges to providing safe piped drinking water. There are internal and external challenges, such as the lack of commitment of the local governments, and limited access to raw water due to poor infrastructure. The same research also found that regulatory flexibility, legal certainty and a market system that has failed to maximise competitiveness towards best governance of SPAMs in Indonesia are factors contributing to its operating challenges. 

Click here to read the article on TechnoBusiness. 

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Marie Teo
Manager, Group Corporate Communications
Spire Research and Consulting
Phone: (65) 6838 5355