The Citarum Program

The Citarum

Creating clean, healthy and productive rivers and communities.

Introducing the collaboration between Monash University, Indonesia partners, and an international consortium of research partners to revitalise the polluted Citarum River.

Millions of people rely on the Citarum River for their water, energy, food and livelihoods. The river sustains livelihoods through agriculture, animal husbandry, fishing and ecotourism. Yet, it is also one of the most polluted rivers in the world. Each day 20,000 tonnes of solid waste, and 280,000 tonnes of industrial wastewater are discharged directly into the river, mostly raw or untreated sewage from domestic households.

Prioritising healthy environments, wellbeing and access to clean water and waste services has never been more important. But solutions are often developed and applied in isolation from each other. An integrative, socio-technical approach for sustainable transformation of the river corridor is needed.

Project team


Funded by

Undertaken within

(Left to right) Professor Diego Ramírez-Lovering collaborates with Environmental Agency Head Dr. Ir. Prima Mayaningtyas, M.Si., Universitas Indonesia’s Head of the Citarum Research Social Team Dr. Reni Suwarso, MPP., Ph.D, and Head of the Citarum Research Engineering Team Dr. Rr. Dwinanti Rika Marthanty, S.T., M.T.

Our vision

Our vision is to create clean, healthy and productive rivers and communities by using new approaches that harness waste, thereby propelling communities towards sustainable growth.

Monash University and Universitas Indonesia are partnering with the Indonesian Government, communities, local NGOs, and the global research community to develop innovations that deliver improved water and waste services, and revitalise the community, economy and environment.

By co-designing new infrastructure, behaviour programs, business models and institutions, our aim is to help communities move away from dumping or discharging waste into the environment, and shift towards circular solutions that recycle, remanufacture and reuse waste.

Our approach

To achieve our vision, we will come together across sectors and disciplines to co-design and test integrative social, technological and economic innovations.

Together, we’ll create new solutions to help restore degraded rivers, revitalise communities and transition to a circular economy. Our aim is to collect rigorous scientific evidence that localised socio-technical innovations can deliver sustainable improvements and growth for rivers and their communities.

We’ll partner with selected villages along a tributary of the Citarum River to demonstrate our community-led, technically rigorous approach addressing pollution, biodiversity loss, community health and poverty in riverine contexts.

Preliminary research

Recent news and events

Graduate research opportunity