Last update:

Anti-privatization of water supply and Remunicipalization struggle in Jakarta, Indonesia

Privatized water management left the city of Jakarta with poor water quality and access; a civil society coalition is seeking to remunicipalize water for the public good.


Jakarta suffers from an ineffective but at the same time relatively expensive water supply system. The Tap water coverage 59.4% of the megacity, is a low amount and represents only a very limited increase from 44.5% in 1998 [1]. Meanwhile, infrastructure is in bad shape with the leakage level as high as 44 percent and even when access to piped water is available, water quality is poor [3]. Bad quality reflects itself in muddy, smelly water that can cause skin irritations.  

See more
Basic Data
Name of conflict:Anti-privatization of water supply and Remunicipalization struggle in Jakarta, Indonesia
Location of conflict:Jakarta
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Water Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Water access rights and entitlements
Water treatment and access to sanitation (access to sewage)
Specific commodities:Water
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Level of Investment:Cumulative loss for the state of Rp. 1.266 trillion and negative equity of Rp. 945 billion since the collaboration in 1997 with the two private companies. Additional obligations to Palyja of Rp. 266 billion and Rp. 173 billion to Aetra
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:10.042.000
Start of the conflict:01/01/2011
Company names or state enterprises:Jakarta Drinking Water Utility (PAM Jaya) from Indonesia - State agency
PT PAM Lyonnaise Jaya (Palyja) from Indonesia - Private actor water supply
Aetra Air Jakarta (Aetra) from Indonesia - Private actor water supply
Relevant government actors:Government of Jakarta (Governor Anies Baswedan)
International and Finance InstitutionsThe World Bank (WB) from United States of America
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:(People’s Coalition for the Right to Water (KRuHA) -
Jakarta Water Workers Union (SP-PDAM)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Industrial workers
Social movements
Trade unions
Forms of mobilization:Involvement of national and international NGOs
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Potential: Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Other Environmental impacts
Other Environmental impactsSinking of the city area
Health ImpactsVisible: Infectious diseases
Potential: Malnutrition
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Violations of human rights
Potential: Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Institutional changes
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Strengthening of participation
Under negotiation
Development of alternatives:The remunicipalisation plan is part on the city’s efforts to achieve 82 percent tap water coverage by 2023. The plan is also expected to improve water prices and return Rp 1.77 trillion in assets to the city administration that was currently in the hands of PAM Jaya’s private partners [1].
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The Court hasn’t issued a clear order to cancel the agreement. Remunicipalization was promised by political actors but a “full remunicipalization” is unlikely to happen until the contract expires in 2023. Unclear strategy and conditions for transformation and restructuring to alternative solutions, especially in financial terms. Civil society actors continue to put pressure on state officials.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[3] Irfan Zamzami and Nila Ardhianie - An end to the struggle? Jakarta residents reclaim their water system. In: Our Public Water Future (2015)
[click to view]

[4] Lobina, E., Weghmann, V., & Marwa, M. - Water justice will not be televised: Moral advocacy and the struggle for transformative remunicipalisation in Jakarta. In: Water Alternatives, 12(2), 725-748. (2019).
[click to view]

[8] Irfan Zamzami, Nila Ardhianie - Workers and Jakarta Water Privatization.
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[1] Sausan Atika - Jakarta’s remunicipalization plan raises hope for better water service. Jakarta Post, 2019
[click to view]

[2] Geert De Clercq - Suez will fight to keep its Jakarta water contract. Reuters, 2015
[click to view]

[6] Jakarta, Indonesia - Termination of Water Privatization. peopleoverprofit, 2019.
[click to view]

[5] Kimmelman, M. - Jakarta is sinking so fast, it could end up underwater. New York Times, 21 December 2017.
[click to view]

[7] Krithika Varagur- Massive Water Privatization Program to End in Jakarta After 18 Years. 2017
[click to view]

[9] Kruha - Jakarta’s plan to get more public power in water sector might not work well. 2020
[click to view]

[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Credits: Jakarta Is The World's Fastest-Sinking City (VICE News, HBO, 2018)
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Luca Scheunpflug, Philipps University of Marburg, [email protected]
Last update16/09/2020
Legal notice / Aviso legal
We use cookies for statistical purposes and to improve our services. By clicking "Accept cookies" you consent to place cookies when visiting the website. For more information, and to find out how to change the configuration of cookies, please read our cookie policy. Utilizamos cookies para realizar el análisis de la navegación de los usuarios y mejorar nuestros servicios. Al pulsar "Accept cookies" consiente dichas cookies. Puede obtener más información, o bien conocer cómo cambiar la configuración, pulsando en más información.