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


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.

Danon-Aqua sophisticated facilities at Lido site water spring in foothill of Mount Salak, Bogor, West Java. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Danone-Aqua's sophisticated water bottling facilities at the Lido spring. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
A worker conducts a daily inspection in hygienic water filters and giant earthquake-resistant tubes at Lido site in Bogor, West Java on Thursday (28/11). (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
A worker inspects water filters and giant earthquake-resistant tubes at Aqua's Lido site. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
An Aqua factory worker stands in front of sumber masyarakat central tubes at Lido site in Bogor, West Java on Thursday (28/11). The long tubes used to channel water to Ciburuy and Cigombong villages. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
This Aqua-run facility runs clean water to the villages of Ciburuy and Cigombong. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
A man washes his face with clean and safe water that flow from Danone-Aqua reservoir at Ciherang Village in Bogor, West Java on Thursday (28/11). (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
A man takes his ablution at an Aqua reservoir in Ciherang village near Bogor. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Water reservoir from Danone-Aqua at Ciherang Village, Bogor, West Java. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
The Danone-Aqua water reservoir in Ciherang village. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Leaf canopy at water conservation forest belongs to Danone-Aqua company in Pancawati, Bogor, West Java. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
A leaf canopy at Danone-Aqua's water conservation forest in Pancawati, Bogor. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Two forest ranger demonstrate Danone-Aqua 100% Growing program that believe to increase efficiency in water-soil infiltration and prevent water run-off. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Forest rangers involved in Danone-Aqua's '100 Percent Growing' program. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Indonesian couture accessories designer, Rinaldy Yunardi and Flora Tobing, Senior Brand Manager of Aqua brought bottles of Aqua Reflection as they launched the lastest design in Pancawati, Bogor, West Java on Thursday (28/11). (JG Photo / Yudha Baskoro)
Couture accessories designer Rinaldy Yunardi and Aqua's senior brand manager Flora Tobing show off the new Aqua Reflections glass bottles. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)