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    • Pegeen
      Reading streakScoutScribe
      2 months ago

      Readup always makes my world so much bigger - broader. This is a tragic scenario I would otherwise know nothing about. It seems Sisyphean in nature - alarming.

      • Karenz
        Scribe
        1 month ago

        I’m with you Pegeen. I’d heard nothing of this issue in the news though some coverage of similar problems in Venice. But Jakarta is huge! I’m impressed with any humans that try to tackle problems of this scale.

    • Alexa
      Scout
      2 months ago

      Holy cow, some of the timelines on this make it all the more stunning. What an enormous pickle they're in. Stop pumping groundwater in 5 years? It's like climate change, this huge runaway bull of a problem that is obviously charging at you, but the scope of stepping aside or slowing it to a trot is so baffling complete inaction is chosen instead, so you get gored.

    • thorgalle
      ScoutScribe
      3 months ago

      How explosive urbanization, short-sighted politics and economic incentives mess with preparedness for water catastrophes in low-lying land.

      The mechanism by which Jakarta is settling into its foundations has been understood for decades. The soft soil underneath the city is held up by the pressure of water in aquifers and reservoirs deep below the surface. Removing that water lowers the pressure, and the land above it sinks. That issue is exacerbated by building heavy structures on the surface, and by coating it with impermeable materials, like concrete, which prevent water from seeping back down and recharging the subsoil reservoirs.

      I heard this last factor, too much concrete, was also a contributing cause to the recently unprecedented flooding in Belgium and Germany last week.

      Behind them is an alarming case study in how politicking, greed and vested economic interests can lead to a dangerous inertia – a microcosm of the global failure to address climate change.

      And in that sense Jakarta is maybe a city to keep an eye on, the first one to deal with struggles that will come to many. At least we can learn from it.

      • Jessica3 months ago

        Thanks for posting this! Concrete use has always had me scratching my head. Concrete is the required material for developing sea walls, yet concrete amplifies related problems by preventing water recharge. Concrete demand is also a primary reason for the sand shortage — but there is hope moving forward if regulations are put in place.

        • thorgalle
          ScoutScribe
          2 months ago

          🆙 Sand mafias mentioned there! 🙀 Every eco innovation is good, even better if it is recognized that it's only a small part in a puzzle of regulation an behavior change.

    • Jessica3 months ago

      “The urban impact of such an on-land solution is huge,” Coenen says. “Imagine seven-metre-high sea walls on the coastline. It’s like a reversed aquarium. The water’s outside, the people are inside. It’s a scary thought.”

      The image of a reversed aquarium is frightening. And I have to pinch myself and remember that this was actually a potential solution which was considered and cost-estimated.

      • thorgalle
        ScoutScribe
        2 months ago

        It is! Sounds devastating to people used to living on the waterfront. But better than being forced to move? 🤔 I'm also wondering if this feeling doesn't already exist in walled areas... like former Berlin or Israel/Palestine.