The launch event of the WE are Water Education (Indonesia) program held on December 11, 2023, in Surabaya was a collaborative effort involving The Water Agency, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and the Public Works of Water Resource Agency of East Java Province (PUSDA EJP). Mr. Fauzy Nasruddin from PUSDA initiated the event, expressing gratitude for the ongoing collaboration with the Netherlands on flood management for the Welang River since 2018, emphasizing the importance of creating a master plan for flood management.
Ms. Esther Den Hartog from VU Amsterdam highlighted the program’s history and interdisciplinary approach in water management, aligning with the goals of enhancing skills and knowledge for water professionals, particularly in collaboration with the staff from EJP.
The event featured insights into the Welang River’s dynamics, emphasizing its significance in irrigation, tourism, community water supply, industrial usage, and local economy through brick production from river sediments. Challenges such as flooding, sedimentation, drought, solid waste, and unauthorized water usage by industries were highlighted, posing threats to the river’s health and sustainability.
Mr. Syauqi Asyraf Faiz from The Water Agency presented the program’s details, focusing on its goals, planned activities, leveraging expertise in river management, and expected outcomes of the capacity-building program. The introduction of the Asia Water Academy website underscored the program’s emphasis on interdisciplinary approach in water management practices.
Mr. Hans de Moel from VU Amsterdam explained the course structure, topics, and progress within the program, conducting an interactive Q&A session to gather perspectives on online learning and main water issues in the Welang River Basin. The insights from this session will be used in modification for the course’s development.
Overall, this launch event marks the commencement of the WE are Water Education (Indonesia) Program, aiming to facilitate knowledge transfer and foster integrated, cross-sectoral collaboration for climate-resilient water management in the Welang River Basin.