Indonesia will be among the largest recipients of loans from the Asian Development Bank to finance projects aimed at mitigating water shortages over the next three decades. (B1 Photo/Vento Saudale)

Indonesia to Enhance Water Security With ADB Investments


MAY 03, 2017

[Updated at 04:59 a.m. on Thursday, May 4, 2017]

Yokohama. Indonesia will be among the largest recipients of loans from the Asian Development Bank to finance projects aimed at mitigating water shortages over the next three decades.

Amy Leung, ADB's deputy director general for sustainable development and climate change, said on Wednesday (03/05) that about 3.4 billion people in the region will live in water-stressed areas by 2050, quoting a study from the Austrian-based International Institute for Applied System Analysis.

Asia is particularly vulnerable to future water shortages because of rising demands from growing urban populations and an increasingly unstable climate, Leung said.

"These issues need to be tackled in a very coordinated way," she said, adding that ADB stands ready to assist governments in the region to finance future water-related development projects.

The Manila-based lender has identified several mitigation projects – totaling $13.5 billion  that are likely to be approved for financing between 2017 and 2019.

ADB plans to invest in hydropower generations, water resource management, flood management, irrigation and drainage, water supply and sanitation and waste management projects across the region in coming years.

In 2016, the lender approved a total $2.4 billion for similar enterprises across Asia, including a $109 million loan for flood management projects near the Ci Durian river basin in Banten and Ambon and Seram river basins in Maluku.

The bank expects to approve an additional loan of $400 million to develop sewage systems in some of Indonesia's largest metropolises by 2019.

In recent years, ADB has invested nearly $33.5 billion into water-related, urban infrastructure, energy and food development projects across the archipelago.

In its 2016 report, titled "Asian Water Development Outlook 2016: Strengthening Water Security in Asia and The Pacific," the lender reported that Indonesia must work to improve household access to drinking water, increase urban water services, protect healthy river systems and implement prevention measures for water-related disasters.

The bank estimates that countries in the region will consume 55 percent more water by 2050 compared to current rates due to growing agricultural and household demands.

ADB noted that Indonesia's primary obstacle to ensuring future water security is poor governance and weak institutional capacities to enact change.

Correction: The previous version of this article identified Amy Leung as deputy director general at ADB East Asia Department. The Jakarta Globe apologizes for this error.