Saturday, June 14, 2008

Rotterdam helps Jakarta handle flooding

Tifa Asrianti and Mustaqim Adamrah, in an interesting article from the Jakarta Post (Indonesia): The Rotterdam administration in the Netherlands' plans to help the Jakarta administration mitigate frequent flooding as part of its sister city initiative. Rotterdam Mayor Ivo Opstelten said Thursday he would send a team of five experts to Jakarta to determine what kind of water management system would be suitable for the city.

"We're going to share our knowledge with institutes in Jakarta on flood mitigation to help with operations and maintenance," he said, after signing Rotterdam to a two-year sister city relationship with Jakarta, also signed by Governor Fauzi Bowo. Fauzi said the water management system recommended by the Rotterdam administration would help mitigate Jakarta's water problems and enable the city to use the resource more efficiently.

….Rotterdam has had a long history of water management, including the management of ports, because it has rivers running through it, Opstelten said. He said the new agreement was an extension of the existing sister city agreement but with a special focus on water management for 2008-2010.

… Managing director of Rotterdam's department of public works P.W. Verhoeven said "The experts will support small canal dredging projects. There will be two or three experts working on that. They won't be working full time. They will visit Jakarta occasionally and will be in contact through e-mail and telephone," she said.

…Verhoeven said Rotterdam managed its water entities through a sophisticated system for the operation and daily maintenance of the city's waterways. She said the waterways were dredged regularly.

Climate change has forced the Rotterdam administration to rethink water management systems in the city and to develop systems to prevent water problems. "We're now adapting, for example, by creating more green roofs in the city and by making what we call water squares," she said. Water squares are open spaces that temporarily store water when it rains. When it is not raining, they can be used for various activities, such as leisure activities, she said. They can be installed between road lanes as median strips as well….

A flood north of Jakarta in 2002, photo by "Hullie," Wikimedia Commons, under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation license, Version 1.2

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