Tadzkia Nurshafira (2020)

The new Law no. 17/2019 on Water Resources in Indonesia reproduces the idea of the state’s role in ensuring access to water, by reasserting the state’s control and guaranteeing people’s access to clean water. The Law is a response to issues discussed in the 2015 Constitutional Court’s decision on the annulment of 2004 Law on Water Resources. The new Law shows that the state is convinced that private-based water providers and the narrative of water as an economic good are constraining the realisation of 100% access to clean water in developing countries.

However, the day to day reality in rural areas of Indonesia shows otherwise. The singular role of the state in distributing water is not universally desirable. People in rural areas continuously work with combinations of private- and communal-based water provision.

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