Jakarta-wapresri.go.id. Vice President Jusuf Kalla called on efficiency in water usage considering its limited supply.

“Indeed, almost 75 percent of our earth consists of water. But water that can be consumed by humans is very limited, only 0.003% of it. That is why we must efficiently use the water as well as develop good water distribution,” said the Vice President when formally opening the Indonesia Water and Waste Water Expo and Forum (IWWEF) 2016 held at the Plenary Hall, Jakarta Convention Center, Jakarta on Tuesday (May, 3).

According to the Vice President, efficiency in the use of water is intended to prevent water crisis as afflicting 25 percent of Indian population (300 million people) to occur in Indonesia.

Despite many green areas in Indonesia, he said, the country had lost 50 million forests within around 50 years, which led to reduced water availability amid the increasing need of clean water.

The Vice President also emphasized that the water used by the public should be ensured to be clean for the sake of public health. He added that government had disbursed up to trillions rupiahs to address health problems. This cost, he said, could be lowered if the water quality is maintained properly.

Government, he continued, is very concerned with the issue of water supply. Therefore, he said, the government made debt elimination towards PDAM as a form of justice among sectors.

To avoid shortage of water in the future, the Vice President urged to change the drainage system from initially towards the ocean onto land, or known as water distillation, so that water can be reused 3 to 5 times, similar to what Singapore and Japan did.

“I hereby order the Home Minister to instruct local administrations to immediately start such a water recycling project,” he urged.

Earlier in the meeting, the Indonesia Water Supply Association (Perpamsi), the host of the event, Chairman Rudie Kusmayadi stated that IWWEF 2016 is aimed at strengthening synergy among water and wastewater business players to speed up the realization of 10 million new pipelines by 2019 as government directed.

Rudie also said that the forum also becomes a means of communicating about government’s policy to relieve debts of local water utilities (PDAM) throughout Indonesia.

“I hope that this debt elimination can be an energy for all PDAMs to improve services in providing clean water to the people of Indonesia,” he said.

IWWEF is the country’s leading water event that has been held biennially since 2011. This year, the forum attended by more than 50 companies in the field of water utility takes the theme “Water Technology (Watertech)”.

IWWEF has been significant to Perpamsi to achieve the target of “100-0-100” as assigned by the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing in the National Mid-Term Development Plan [RPJMN] for 2015-2019. The target is defined as 100 percent access to safe drinking water, 0 percent of the slums, and 100 percent access to proper sanitation by the end of 2019.

Also present at the ceremony were Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basoeki Hadimoeljono, Home Minister Tjahjo Kumolo, and some ambassadors of friendly countries.