Health in the Upper Citarum catchment

The Upper Citarum catchment area is an area of roughly 100 × 100 km. It is home to 8 million people. The catchment is undergoing rapid urbanisation and the population density is high. This is the future for many Asian, South American and African catchments.

Upper Citarum Chatchment

Toxic substances and infectious diseases in the water system

People and companies depend on local groundwater and surface water for industrial use, drinking, cooking, bathing and irrigation. As well as being sources of water, rivers and other waters are also used as drains and sewers by factories, SMEs, and the population as a whole.

Public health is affected and so is the associated quality of the ecosystem

The exposure of humans to toxic substances and infectious diseases usually involves the water system. They drink from it, swim in it , and work with it, and they can also be indirectly affected through food. Another example is the spread of, and exposure to, antibiotics and resistant bacteria, which is an extremely pressing problem for medics and water management authorities. The spread of infectious disease can also be boosted by changes in the ecosystem, such as local rises in the prevalence of Dengue or Zika when there is more stagnant open water (where mosquitoes live and breed).