Jakarta is a coastal megacity on the world’s most populous island, Java. It is Indonesia’s political, financial and business hub, and home to more than 11 million people. But the city is sinking, faster than any other coastal megacity. The problem has become so acute there are advanced plans to build a new capital city in Borneo.
Jakarta’s rivers and canals are grossly polluted. In the absence of a safe water supply, thousands of households and businesses have sunk private boreholes. Groundwater extraction is rampant and unregulated. The groundwater store is not being replenished so the ground beneath the city is steadily compacting. As the city sinks and sea level rises, destructive floods from rivers and the sea will become more common.
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