Fast-paced urban transformation is one of the main challenges in urban development affecting the availability of water for urban populations. Sleman — a neighborhood adjacent to Yogyakarta city — is one of the areas which has been experiencing a transformation from rural-urban to urban, particularly in some key sites such as Mlati, Depok, Ngaglik, and Godean.
Even though the main authority for surface water and groundwater management resides at the provincial and municipal levels, village governments have the authority to develop a community group or activities in managing its water sources. In Indonesia, the village law becomes a strategic entry point for village governments — as the lowest form of government bodies in the country — to govern their own water sources management and implement a Polycentric Water approach at a village level.
The PolyUrbanWaters project aims to generate a scientific understanding of water management and develop practices as well as tools that allow fast-growing cities and peri-urban areas in Southeast Asia to implement polycentric approaches for urban development and integrated, cross-sectoral water management. The project focuses on three cities: Sleman, Indonesia; Kratie, Cambodia; and Sam Nuea, Laos.
In the first phase, we focused on developing research and development analysis as well as assessing possible villages to implement the PolyUrbanWaters approach. In September 2019, the program was formally launched through a kick-off meeting discussing the issue of water management in Sleman with local government offices such as Regional Planning Agency, Environment Department, Public Works Department, Regional Water Utilities and others related stakeholders.
Following the initial meeting and additional field work, a consortium consisting of kota Kita, TU Berlin, TH Köln, Kota Kita, BORDA, UGM, and Aksansi organized several coordination meetings and interviews to develop preliminary findings, next steps, as well as other activities that have carried into 2020. We are also preparing a proposal for the Research and Development Phase which will be conducted in 2021 - 2024 in three cities, including Sleman, Kratie and Sam Nuea.