Indonesia is blessed with abundant water resources, yet its people suffer from a severe shortage of potable water.
The intersection of these two facts neatly describes why Indonesia should offer a bonanza for the global water industry. Despite such promise, development activities in Indonesia's water sector remain muted, constrained by man-made conditions that above all require a national commitment to policy solutions.
Ranking fourth globally in total water resources, Indonesia's internal renewable water resources per capita are nearly two times larger than in the United States, six times larger than China's and a whopping 11 times larger than India's.
Despite this abundance, four out of five Indonesians lack access to piped water. Those few who receive it routinely boil it for fear of illness. Given the low quality and quantity of existing supply, new build private water project opportunities should be numerous. In reality, those in the planning stage are few and far between, and advance at a glacial pace.
Citizens hoping for safe water and developers seeking to invest could be forgiven for feeling like Coleridge's Ancient Mariner, becalmed at the equator and lamenting "Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink."