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25 Mar 2016

Development of a Water Sustainability Index for West Java, Indonesia

Iwan Juwana, May 2012
Victoria University

Sustainability of water resources is essential to ensure that available water can be used by both present and future generations. To ensure sustainability, a comprehensive knowledge of the current conditions of water resources is necessary. Once this information is obtained, relevant programs can be designed to improve the quality and use of water resources. A water sustainability index is a useful tool to obtain information on the current conditions of water resources. It can also be used to identify all factors contributing to these conditions, to assist decision makers prioritising water issues, to design programs related to water resource improvement, and to communicate the current status of existing water resources to the general community.

In the recent past, several indices related to water resource sustainability have been developed. Even though there have been some successful experiences with the implementation of existing sustainability indices, they are not fully applicable in other regions or countries, since most of these indices have been developed for specific regions or countries. This study aims at developing a new water sustainability index for West Java, Indonesia, which can be used as a tool to improve the management of water resources in West Java. The development of the West Java Water Sustainability Index (WJWSI) involved the design of the conceptual framework, the application of Delphi technique to refine and finalise the conceptual framework, the application of WJWSI in three West Java catchments, and finally the robustness analysis of WJWSI through uncertainty and sensitivity analysis.

Results of WJWSI applications provided information on the current conditions of water resources, as well as the priority of water issues, in these three catchments. This information can be used by relevant water authorities in respective catchments to design appropriate programs to improve the conditions of water resources. This index can be applied to all catchments in West Java and, with some modifications, can also be applied in catchments in other provinces in Indonesia and worldwide.

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