Jakarta's Splintered Urban Waterscape: A Case for Climate Resilience

Authors: Sarah Hobson*, University of Oklahoma, Emma Colven, Research Advisor and Professor at University of Oklahoma
Topics: Urban Geography, Water Resources and Hydrology, Human-Environment Geography
Keywords: Splintered Urbanism, Urban Waterscapes, Climate Resilience, Jakarta, Indonesia, Global South, Water Sustainability
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/7/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM
Room: Virtual 6
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


While splintered infrastructure networks constitute the norm for much of the world’s urban residents in the global South, a dominant perspective in urban geography holds that such networks are fractured, dysfunctional, and lacking potential. Contrary to this perspective, this paper argues that splintered water management systems potentiate water sustainability. Diversity in water sources, treatment methods, and dispersal may better facilitate mitigation and adaptation to change than rigid centralized and homogeneous waterscapes. This paper examines the state of Jakarta’s complex and splintered water system, and proposes improvement strategies for rainwater collection, aquifer recharge, greywater reclamation, and treatment options, as a means to strengthen climate resilience. Calculations based on water demand and storage capacity, annual precipitation, and savings from alternative treatment methods demonstrate water sustainability in Jakarta through the use of integrated micro and community-based water collection and treatment systems. This paper thus argues that microscale water systems have the potential to sustain water supply and quality in ways that allow for greater climate resilience and sustainable water use. This suggests that fractured urban waterscapes of the Global South may model strategies that the Global North can adopt in order to recover from climate-related change to water systems, particularly as these infrastructural networks continue to splinter.

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