A Feasibility Study on Water Conservation Measures in Kota Lama Site, Semarang, Indonesia.
Putri Handayani, .
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Worldwide population growth and economic development has increased freshwater demand, and at the same time has threatened its availability. Poor management of freshwater resources has caused freshwater demand to exceed its supply, which is known as freshwater scarcity in terms of quantity. Especially in developing countries, a lack of awareness has led to a decrease of freshwater quality – i.e., an increase of freshwater scarcity in terms of quality. Nowadays, freshwater scarcity is not only experienced by arid and semi-arid regions but also by tropical wet regions such as the region where Kota Lama Site, Semarang, is located. This small city called Kota Lama Site, has been suffering from freshwater scarcity for many years, yet this scarcity has not been acknowledged by local inhabitants and the city government of Semarang. The plan of Semarang’s government to include Kota Lama Site on the list of UNESCO world heritage, made the city government initiate the Kota Lama Site revitalization plan in 2016. Since then, the city has attracted millions of visitors annually, and the number of commercial businesses has considerably increased (23 %). The economic growth of Kota Lama Site could lead to a more severe freshwater scarcity if Semarang’s government remains idle in recognizing this issue. Throughout the world, especially in developed countries, the water conservation concept has been proven to reduce freshwater scarcity. This concept is primarily intended to preserve freshwater quality, to reduce freshwater demand, and to conserve freshwater for efficient uses. Studies regarding water conservation measures for Kota Lama Site is lacking, although freshwater scarcity has become a pressing issue for this city. This study represents the first attempt in searching for the most feasible water conservation measures for Kota Lama Site by: analyzing characteristics of its freshwater scarcity, investigating potential water conservation measures based on its implementation challenges and freshwater scarcity characteristics of Kota Lama Site, and performing a scoring for selected potential water conservation measures to determine which measures are most feasible. The selection of feasibility criteria is conducted prior to the scoring. These criteria are determined in such a way that it represents vital elements that need to be considered by four different categories of freshwater users in Kota Lama Site, before implementing a water conservation measure. Because, although the city government of Semarang is responsible for the implementation and management of water conservation measures, the focus potentially shifts towards collective action and individual responsibility. This study reveals that freshwater scarcity characteristics of Kota Lama Site relate to: (1) the lack of freshwater supply (-23.117.367,95 L/year) from the regional drinking water agency which is known to be of poor quality; (2) a supply deficit of groundwater (-255.104.525,09 L/year) in the confined aquifer; (3) the unusable supply excess of groundwater (188.172.656,36 L/year) in the unconfined aquifer; (4) unutilized annual high rainfall (above 2.000 mm/year); (5) ill-defined regulations; (6) weak laws and regulatory enforcement; and (7) unawareness of freshwater users regarding efficient freshwater use. Selected potential water conservation measures cover the need of Kota Lama Site’s for: (1) strong laws and enforcement of regulations; (2) programs to raise the awareness of local inhabitants; (3) actions to strengthen institutional and community capacity; (4) funding and its allocation for water conservation; (5) an improvement of freshwater quality; and (6) a decrement of wasted freshwater. Finally, this study recommends that roof-water harvesting and educational incentives are the two most feasible water conservation measures for Kota Lama Site.