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Pilot polder project in Semarang operational

In 2001, Witteveen+Bos in Jakarta organised a seminar entitled ‘Polder Systems in Waterfront Cities’ in association with the Groot Salland and Rijnland water management authorities, Rijkswaterstaat (the Dutch department of public works) and the Indonesian Ministry of Transportation.

Speakers at the two-day meeting included Dutch experts in polder design and management. There was also a presentation by a project developer who has built and successfully maintained a privately-funded polder in Jakarta. Witteveen+Bos produced the designs for this polder in phases over the period from 1986 to 2005. Indonesian government officials at the seminar were so impressed that they decided to implement a pilot project of their own. Semarang, which suffers large-scale water management issues, was chosen as the location.

Partners for Water financed a feasibility study to identify the most appropriate site for the polder. This proved to be the Banger district, an area of some 540 hectares which has a population of 80,000 and no sanitation other than open sewers. Banger is subject to constant flooding. Witteveen+Bos helped to produce the detailed plans in partnership with the Schieland & Krimpenerwaard Water Management Authority (HHSK). Despite a number of setbacks, and largely due to the dogged determination of HHSK, the pumps could be activated in October 2016. The results are extremely satisfying. Water levels in the Banger district have fallen by as much as 1.5 metres and the sewers no longer overflow. Eighty thousand people now enjoy far better living conditions.

+ arno.kops@witteveenbos.com