Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Ministry inspected the availability of clean water in dams, lakes, and reservoirs in regions, as Indonesia is currently experiencing a severe dry season resulting in a water crisis.

"During drought, the supply of clean water (for households) is a priority, and next is for agricultural irrigation," PUPR Minister Basuki Hadimuljono noted in a statement here on Wednesday.

The ministry checked the availability of clean water in 231 dams, including 16 major dams, each with a capacity to hold 50 million cubic meters of water. Of the major dams, water levels are normal in the eight dams of Cirata, Saguling, Betutegi, Wadaslintang, Bili-Bili, Kalola, Way Rarem, and Ponre-ponre.

In the meantime, water levels in eight other major dams -- Jatiluhur, Kedungombo, Wonogiri, Sutami, Wonorejo, Cacaban, Selorejo, and Batu Bulan -- are below normal.

Based on data as of June 30, 2019, the water volume in the six major dams totaled 3,858.25 million cubic meters, out of their effective capacity of nearly six million cubic meters.

Furthermore, the ministry monitored the availability of water in a total of 1,922 reservoirs, of which some 63.2 percent, or 1,214 reservoirs, had normal water levels, while 36.8 percent, or 708 reservoirs, had below-normal water levels.

The ministry has also dispatched one thousand centrifugal pumps to 34 provinces across the country.

Moreover, the ministry has optimized a total of 7,471 artesian wells in the 34 provinces and built 428 new artesian wells in regions left parched by the dry spell, such as in Gunung Kidul, central Java Island.

Some 242 water tanker trucks have also been provided by the ministry to supply clean water to people facing water shortages. Each water tanker truck can hold five thousand liters of clean water supplied to 1,300 people per day.

The demand for drinking water in drought-hit regions is estimated at 31 thousand cubic meters per day. With the support of regional governments and disaster mitigation officers, a total of 1,674 water tanker trucks had been readied.

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Translator: Ahmad Wijaya, Fardah
Editor: Azizah Fitriyanti
Copyright © ANTARA 2019