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From Jakarta to Nusantara: Land subsidence and other pressing water challenges in a sinking mega city

Jakarta, “the sinking city”, is the current capital city of Indonesia. Located on the Java Sea, this coastal city is home to nearly 30 million people within the greater-Jakarta area. Jakarta has grappled with water management issues for decades, leading to several current day water-related crises. Access to a reliable, potable water supply is extremely limited as there is a significant disparity between those with piped water access and those without. Citizens without piped water access have consequently relied heavily on groundwater and have dug thousands of unregulated wells as a result. This has led to a second water crisis – the chronic overextraction of Jakarta’s underground aquifers. Land subsidence is of the utmost concern as this sinking city is placed at high flood risk from the surrounding ocean. Approximately 40% of Jakarta now lies below sea level as a result and predictive models suggest that the entire city will be underwater by 2050 (Gilmartin, 2019). Compounding these problems, the climate crisis has led to significant sea level rise as glaciers and ice caps continue to melt (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2019; Lindsey, 2022). As the city of Jakarta continues to sink and sea levels rise, millions of citizens within Jakarta are at extremely high risk of flooding, particularly during monsoon season. Thousands of residents have already been forced to abandon their homes in search of improved conditions and higher ground (Garschagen et al., 2018).

Interview with Mina Konaka, Satellite engineer at JAXA

Mina Konaka works at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) as a satellite engineer and is currently working on the satellite ALOS-4, which can detect changes in groundwater on land. She attended the International Space University, participating in the project AWARE (Adapting to Water and Air Realities on Earth), in which participants aimed to provide solutions for flood and air quality risks due to climate change, using earth observation data and ground-based sensors. Mina feels strongly about the need to talk more globally about water management solutions, rather than on an individual country basis. Mina also hopes that in the future there will be more female engineers who pursue dreams of space, and that gender balance is no longer an issue.

Interview with Mina Konaka, Satellite engineer at JAXA

Mina Konaka works at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) as a satellite engineer and is currently working on the satellite ALOS-4, which can detect changes in groundwater on land. She attended the International Space University, participating in the project AWARE (Adapting to Water and Air Realities on Earth), in which participants aimed to provide solutions for flood and air quality risks due to climate change, using earth observation data and ground-based sensors. Mina feels strongly about the need to talk more globally about water management solutions, rather than on an individual country basis. Mina also hopes that in the future there will be more female engineers who pursue dreams of space, and that gender balance is no longer an issue.

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Stakeholder

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) is an independent, international research institute with National Member Organizations in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe. Through its research programs and initiatives, the institute conducts policy-oriented research into issues that are too large or complex to be solved by a single country or academic discipline. This includes pressing concerns that affect the future of all of humanity, such as climate change, energy security, population aging, and sustainable development.

National Space Science Agency

NSSA seeks to establish a sound infrastructure for the observation of outer space and the earth, make Bahrain a leader in space science and technology, build a culture and methodology of scientific research within the kingdom and encourage technical innovation, among other goals. NSSA is interested in satellites to obtain data, to use them for remote sensing and to conduct advanced space research, so it can be the engine for the state in the use of the latest satellite communication technologies.

NSSA’s main projects are as follows:

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) was born through the merger of three institutions, namely the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), the National Aerospace Laboratory of Japan (NAL) and the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) in 2003.

JAXA was designated as a core performance agency to support the Japanese government's overall aerospace development and utilization. JAXA conducts integrated operations from basic research and development, to utilization.

Zimbabwe National Geospatial and Space Agency

The Zimbabwe National Geospatial and Space Agency (ZINGSA) is a wholly owned Government of Zimbabwe entity, established under the Research act [Chapter 10:20]. It is responsible for designing, promoting, coordinating and conducting research and development initiatives that promote advances in Geospatial Sciences and Earth Observations, Space Engineering, Space Science, Aeronautical Engineering, Mechatronics, Satellite Communication Systems, Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), Land Positioning Systems, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and Launch of Satellites.

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