A child carries a bottle of Aqua mineral water in Ciherang village near Bogor, West Java, on Thursday. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Tirto Utomo, Aqua Reflections and What They Do With Nature
BY :YUDHA BASKORO
NOVEMBER 29, 2019
Tirto Utomo established the first Aqua factory in North Bekasi in 1973 under the banner of Aqua Golden Mississippi. The man from Wonosobo has since succeeded in building Aqua to be the undisputed leader of the bottled mineral water market in Indonesia.
Today Aqua has 20 factories in Indonesia and one factory in Brunei Darussalam. On Thursday, the Jakarta Globe visited Aqua's first-ever spring at the foot of Mount Salak, near Lido in Bogor, West Java.
In 46 years, Aqua has produced 14 billion liters of bottled water and to date the water from the Lido spring has never run out. The spring was discovered in 1982 by geologists that Tirto hired when he decided to replace the source of Aqua's water from underground wells in Bekasi with a self-flowing spring.
The water from the Lido spring is said to be rich in nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and sodium. The bottling facilities at the spring featured sophisticated equipment such as hygienic water filters and giant earthquake-resistant tubes to protect the spring.
Aqua has been giving back to communities around Lido by providing clean water for free, mostly to residents of the nearby villages of Ciburuy and Cigombong.
The company has also built WASH (Water Access, Sanitation and Hygiene) facilities and a reservoir to deliver clean water to hundreds of families in Ciherang, another village near Bogor.
It has also run a series of water conservation campaigns, including the "100 Percent Growing" tree-planting campaign, "Recharge Water Wells," "Rain Harvesting" and "Water Response and Biopores."
Meanwhile, its Biodiversity Park is preserving a unique variety of plants and animals and help protect the Lido forest.
Aqua's Lido spring is meticulously monitored by geologists and hydrologists. Each phase of the water journey is analyzed closely starting from its origin.
At present, only Aqua's high-end bottled water, Aqua Reflections, uses water from this Mount Salak spring.
Aqua Reflections is a premium product sold in luxury hotels and restaurants. In 2019, its distinctive glass bottle features graphic arts designed by couture accessories designer Rinaldy Yunardi.
Sold in limited quantity at a premium price, Aqua Reflections is a reminder of the pioneering figure of Tirto, who started selling Aqua in similar glass bottles four decades ago.