The increase in population has made the need for clean water continue to increase. As one of the best sources, groundwater continues to be taken intensively and massively to meet the community’s need for clean water. Groundwater is water that is found in layers of soil or rock below the surface of the soil (Law No. 17 of 2019 concerning Water Resources). Groundwater is a renewable natural resource, but it takes a long time to form. The process can reach tens or even hundreds of years. The withdrawal of groundwater which is often uncontrolled and not in accordance with its availability has an impact on the quality and quantity of these water sources. As a result, its availability decreases and causes a groundwater crisis in several areas.
In addition, the continuous extraction of groundwater without considering its conservation, can cause subsidence of the soil surface beyond the threshold and groundwater contamination due to seawater intrusion. If consumed, polluted ground water is very dangerous to health. According to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), each year as many as 1.7 million children die due to environmental pollution. As many as 361,000 children aged 5 years and under die from diarrhea caused by polluted groundwater.
DKI Jakarta is one of the areas experiencing a groundwater crisis, so the impact of excessive groundwater extraction is starting to be felt. Based on a report by the Geological Agency of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, the impact of land subsidence and seawater intrusion has begun to be felt by people in the capital city. Every year, land subsidence in Jakarta is recorded ranging from 7.5 cm to 25 cm. In some coastal areas of Java Island, especially in the Regencies/Cities which are industrial areas, the groundwater is starting to taste salty due to seawater intrusion due to excessive groundwater extraction, resulting in underground basins that should be filled with groundwater, being contaminated with water. sea. Reflecting on this, the government’s role is needed to restore the condition and environment of groundwater, including by issuing regulations that guarantee the availability of groundwater (Law No. 17 of 2019 concerning Water Resources and its derivative regulations up to the imposition of groundwater tax at the district/city level). the Basic Price of Water for calculating the Acquisition Value of Groundwater is regulated in East Java Governor Regulation Number 2 of 2022).
In commemoration of World Water Day which was held on March 22, 2022 raised groundwater as its main problem, stating that groundwater is a hidden treasure that enriches our lives which may not be seen but its impact is visible everywhere, which need to be managed and maintained. Almost all of the fresh water in the world is groundwater. Therefore, the use of groundwater must be controlled, especially the use of groundwater for business purposes.
Water Resources are controlled by the state and used for the greatest prosperity of the people. Therefore, the utilization of groundwater as stipulated in Law Number 17 of 2019 must be able to guarantee the continuity of the availability of water and water sources in order to provide fair benefits to the community, guarantee the preservation of the functions of water and water sources to support sustainable development, control the destructive power of water as a whole which includes prevention, response, and recovery efforts.
In the context of control, all uses of groundwater, especially for business purposes, must have a permit. Granting of permits is carried out strictly in order of priority:
fulfillment of basic daily needs for groups that require large amounts of water;
fulfillment of basic daily needs that change the natural condition of Water Sources;
smallholder agriculture outside the existing irrigation system;
use of Water Resources for business needs to meet daily basic needs through the Drinking Water Supply System;
non-business activities for the public interest;
use of Water Resources for business needs by state-owned enterprises, regional-owned enterprises, or village-owned enterprises;
use of Water Resources for business needs by private business entities or individuals.
In addition to tightening the licensing process for groundwater exploitation, controlling the use of groundwater is also carried out by tightening the imposition of Groundwater Tax, where the basis for imposition of the tax, namely Groundwater Acquisition Value (NPA), is regulated by the Governor, in this case in the Province of East Java. through East Java Governor Regulation Number 2 of 2022 concerning the Basic Price of Water in Calculating the Acquisition Value of Groundwater. In the governor’s regulation, the current basic price of water for Sidoarjo Regency, which is included in Zone 3, ranges from as low as Rp. 2,000,-/M3 up to Rp. 14,700,-/M3, or an increase of around 300% – 667% from the previous range of Rp. 300,-/M3 up to Rp. 4,900,-/M3 based on Governor of East Java Decree No. 57 of 2001 concerning Determination of Water Acquisition Value for calculating the 2002 Tax for Underground Water and Surface Water. , namely for business activities (Customer group 3) ranging from Rp. 7,600,-/M3 up to Rp. 15,600,- /M3 (Sidoarjo Regent Regulation Number 74 of 2022 concerning Drinking Water Tariffs for PDAM Delta Tirta Sidoarjo Year 2022).
By increasing the base price of water to calculate groundwater acquisition value, with the same groundwater tax rate of 20%, the value of groundwater tax will automatically increase to 3 to 7 times the previous rate. This will then force entrepreneurs to be wiser in utilizing groundwater for their business activities, by reducing the volume of groundwater utilization, and starting to switch to partially using PDAM water.
Groundwater is invisible but its impact can be felt everywhere. Out of sight, under our feet, groundwater is a hidden treasure that enriches our lives, so we must protect its sustainability together, because in fact the Earth, Water and the Wealth contained therein are controlled by the state and utilized for the greatest prosperity of the people (UUD 1945 Article 33 paragraph 3).
Given the importance of groundwater for human life, the use of groundwater must be controlled by the government. The use of groundwater must be in accordance with the utilization priority as stipulated in Law Number 17 of 2019 concerning Water Resources. Utilization of groundwater for business purposes must have a permit and its extraction must always be monitored.
In order to increase the awareness of the business community, groundwater tax takes on the role of controller and regulation (Regeeling), by increasing taxes on the use of groundwater. With the increase in the value of this tax, of course, it will add to the company’s operational costs, if groundwater extraction is not controlled wisely. In other words, business actors who use groundwater in their business activities must recalculate and make efficiency by reducing groundwater extraction and optimizing its utilization to support their business activities.
The role of Law Enforcement Officials, and agencies issuing groundwater utilization permits in supervising the implementation of the Law on Water Resources, is necessary to ensure that the use of groundwater is under control and in accordance with its designation.
Author: Hermadi Listiawan NIM 228221005