Site 2: Glodok_Observations
During our second week of visiting the Glodok site, we sought to find the source of the ubiquitous water trolleys that we observed around the district during our first visit. At the direction of Mr. Andreas, the water management supervisor at Plaza Glodok, we explored the Northeast area of the site to find the first of three fresh water storage tanks. At these three water source locations, local water trolley operators fill up water jugs with the supplied running water to distribute throughout the neighborhood. Each water source is controlled by a different tank manager and has accordingly different pricing, policies and quality standards.
In a nutshell, the water trolley operators serve as a home delivery system for water in order to provide the Kampungs around Glodok Market with water to cook, bathe, and clean. This water is not potable, but is a necessity for the areas where the existing architecture does not facilitate easy pipe retrofitting and the groundwater supply is saline due to the district’s close proximity to Java Bay.
In order to keep track of how much water each trolley operator is taking, they mark the number of trolleys full of water they remove from the source each day.
The water storage tanks must carry certification of their water source. The Glodok water storage tanks all are sourced from the Pejompongan Water Treatment Plant operated by water PAM Jaya.
The water trolley delivery method for fresh water is compelling due to the entrepreneurial water economies that develop from its existence. While all water tank managers buy their water from the same source, PAM Jaya [one of the two private providers of running fresh water within the Jakarta region] they each charge different amounts for this resource. This pricing effects how the water trolley operators function within the neighborhood. Secondly, the water trolley operators are all in competition with each other as they base their routes not on geographic proximity or territory but rather their own social networks. This makes their client base robust and provides them a steady source of income.
The second fresh water storage tank in the Mangga Besar neighborhood of the Glodok area. At this location, the water trolley operators had connected a simple plastic pipe and valve to the storage tank to aid the the “jerigen,” or water jug, filling process, and protect against contamination they had observed in their water facility.
During the process of filling the water jugs, there is often much waste. However, because water purchasing is based on a per jug or trolley basis there is little incentive to conserve the water supply. We even observed the trolley operators bathing with water the removed from the pure fresh water storage tank.
In order to deliver the “jerigen” water jugs the water trolley operators must often dodge automobile and motorcycle traffic while negotiating their heavy cargo.