Jakarta (ANTARA) - The government has targeted to increase drinking water access to cover 75 percent of the country's population in 2019, compared to 73 percent of access coverage last year.

"Program to increase drinking water access to the public would be improved, using the state budget fund as well as private investment under the Public Private Partnership scheme with the target of 10 million new clean water pipeline connections," Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono said in a statement here on Friday.

In addition to the installation of new clean water pipeline connections, he said, the government would also revitalize the existing water distribution pipes.

"Sometimes, water that came out from the water treatment is suitable for consumption. But then it become unsuitable because it was channeled through rusty pipes," he said.

The ministry has continued to improve clean water access through various programs including its efforts to multiply the number of water reservoir and normalize the rivers.

Of the total budget for the ministry in 2019 that amounted at Rp110.73 trillion, some Rp39.7 trillion is allocated for development of water resources.

Of the total potential to have 2.7 trillion cubic meter of water per year, Indonesia could utilize 691 billion cubic meter of it per year, of which some 222 billion cubic meters have been used for household needs, farming, fishery sector and irrigation.

However, he said, regions would need more water reservoirs to hold water during rainy season and use them during dry season. "That is the function of dams or water reservoirs - to hold the water."

The government has planned to build 65 dams across the country by 2022. Up to 2018, it has completed construction of 14 dams, 41 others are still under construction.

In 2019, the government targeted to complete construction of 15 dams.

"We will start construction of 10 new dams in 2019. The construction of 65 dams is targeted to complete in 2022," he said.

Translator: M Razi, Sri Haryati
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
Copyright © ANTARA 2019