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Integrated water resources management (IWRM) for Java in Indonesia

Integrated water resources management (IWRM) for Java in Indonesia
Project team:

Lehn, Helmut (Project leader); Jürgen Kopfmüller (Project leader); Annekatrin Lehmann; Suwartanti Nayono


Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Start date:


End date:


Research group:

Sustainability and environment

Project description


Due to its location in the tropics, the Island Java (Indonesia), in principle, is rich in rainfall. Anyhow, the south coast area of Java suffers from water shortage during the 3-4 month dry season with only little precipitation. As a result of the special hydro-geological situation of the karst bedrock, most of the precipitation immediately trickles into karst caves. As a consequence there are no surface waters that could provide water during the dry season. The insufficient water supply is one main reason for poor living conditions in the rural areas and can be seen as one reason for the migration of young people ("brain drain") to large cities like Yogyakarta.

In contrast to the lack of surface waters, there are big amounts of subsurface (karst) water resources available with high potential for drinking water development and thus for improving quality of life. In this regard, Integrated Water Resources Management is expected to secure a sustainable development in drinking water development, allocation and sewage disposal considering particularly hydrologic, hygienic, ecologic, economic and social aspects as well as cultural conditions and institutional frameworks.

Goals of the project

The project aims at the development of integrated concepts for water resources management in close cooperation of German and Indonesian project partners of science and industries. The intended key activities are subdivided into the following 6 work packages:

WP1: Exploration of water resources
WP2: Water resources management (water storage, renewable energies, construction)
WP3: Water distribution, Water treatment, water quality assurance
WP4: Waste water and waste treatment
WP5: Socio-economic analysis / Technology assessment
WP6: Implementation / technology -and know-how-transfer (Capacity-Building)

Key activities of ITAS

  • Analysis and ranking of sustainability goals and sustainability deficits to define the main goals and priorities of sustainable development in the region.
  • Definition of an indicator set and identification of target values to describe a sustainable and regionally adapted system for water supply and waste water management.
  • Analysis of different options of water supply and waste water management using Life-Cycle-Assessment (LCA), Life-Cycle-Costing (LCC), Social Life Cycle Assessment (SLCA), and integrative technology assessment (TA) with regard to technical ability, social, cultural and macro-economic aspects.
  • Analysis of existing and possibly further necessary framework conditions for the implementation of recommended technological options.
  • Cooperation in designing capacity building modules

Involved institutions

KIT / Campus South

  • Institute for Water and River Basin Management (IWG) - coordinator
  • Geodetic Institute (GIK)
  • Inst. of Mineralogy and Geochemistry (IMG)
  • Inst. of Soil Mechanics and Rock Mechanics (IBF)
  • Institute of Concrete Structures and Building Materials (IfMB)
  • Research Center for Steel, Timber and Masonry (VA-SHS)
  • Institute of Aquatic Environmental Engineering (ISWW)

KIT / Campus North

  • Institute for Technical Chemistry (IFG)
  • Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)

University of Gießen

  • Institute for Geography (IfG)




Dr. Helmut Lehn
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe