Water collaboration with Indonesia intensified

The Netherlands and South Korea have signed a new agreement with Indonesia to tackle water issues in the capital Jakarta and the surrounding areas. Minister Cora Van Nieuwenhuizen (Infrastructure and Water Management) signed the documents during the United Nations HELP meeting on the prevention of flood disasters. At this meeting she co-chairs sessions on the reduction of flood risks caused by more extreme weather, a rising sea level, or soil subsidence.

Ms Van Nieuwenhuizen: ‘Millions of people across the globe already need to cope, day after day, with wet feet or, conversely, a shortage of water. The Netherlands is expending its best efforts to find appropriate solutions, for example, along the Jakarta coast. As a result of soil subsidence and the rising sea level, this metropolis has increasingly more trouble keeping the water at bay. This collaboration between Indonesia, South Korea, and the Netherlands will boost the resilience of the Jakarta coastal area against waterlogging.’

Safety plan

Since 2007, the Netherlands has been involved in combating water-related issues along the Jakarta coast. In 2016, Indonesia, the Netherlands, and South Korea joined forces to help protect and develop this coastal area. Their collaboration was recently converted into the so-called Integrated Flood Safety Plan. Groundwater extraction causes the urban soil to subside by as much as 15 cm per annum. Without flood protective measures, four million people in North Jakarta would be severely at risk by 2030.

The plan comprises the improvement of the current sea wall and the construction of a dyke the size of the IJsselmeer Closure Dam in the Netherlands, topped by a toll road. Other components of the safety plan involve a reduction of groundwater consumption, the construction of new drinking water facilities, and combating water pollution. By signing the agreement, the Netherlands has expressed its commitment to assist in the further preparations for the implementation of the project.


On 24 and 25 June, Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen will attend a special United Nations session on flood disasters, and a High Level Experts and Leaders Panel meeting on Water and Disasters (HELP). Within the UN context, the Netherlands has traditionally made a case for preventative measures to boost flood protection. Our country is situated in a delta of four major rivers. As water engineers, we have centuries of experience in dealing with rivers and the sea. This know-how and experience will serve us well, now that all around the world climate change is facing us with a rise in sea level, increased torrential rain, prolonged periods of drought, and extreme river discharges.