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Decreased water supply and saltwater intrusion impacts water security

Declining seasonal flows in West Kalimantan rivers result in increased saltwater intrusion, with significant impacts on drinking water quality. To increase the capacity of water distribution in the dry season, the city of Pontianak in West Kalimantan is constructing a second pipeline to extract water from further upstream at an additional cost of over US$ 10 million. An additional US$ 2 million/year, exceeding US$ 2.5 million/year in extreme dry periods, is needed to pump drinking water.

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Water quality impacts

Expanding palm oil plantations pollute water sources through the excessive or improper use of fertilizers, pesticides and discharges of palm oil mill effluent (POME). The impact of such pollution on water quality is most severe during the rainy season.

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Fire and haze disrupts economies

In the 1997-1998 forest fires, total damages directly resulting from haze due to forest clearance and burning were US$ 1,012 million for Indonesia, US$ 310 million for Malaysia, US$ 104 million for Singapore.

Increased silt load impacts river transport

Transport capacity—rather than production capacity—is the primary factor limiting the output of coal mining companies in Central and South Kalimantan. High levels of silt in the Barito River, which originates in the HoB, limit river transportation some 40% of the year. Yearly dredging costs in the port of Banjarmasin, where 30% of sediments are from the Barito River, are US$ 11 million.

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Flooding impacts lives and infrastructure

Flooding has become commonplace in Samarinda, along the Mahakam River, East Kalimantan, since coal mining and deforestation began upstream. Major floods in 2008-2009 affected families and disrupted the economy, transportation, employment and livelihoods. The total cost of these floods was estimated at US$ 9 million, while the cost of flood prevention is far greater than the town’s income from coal. US$ 7 million has already been spent to construct a flood polder and local government has elaborated a flood mitigation plan that would cost another US$ 350 million.