The Citarum Program
Creating clean, healthy and productive rivers and communities.
Millions of people rely on the Citarum River for their water and energy. 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.
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.
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.
- Interdisciplinary Research Grant (Monash Data Futures Institute and MSDI): Predicting flood risk: The case of the Citarum River, Indonesia (2019-2021)
- Monash-Warwick Alliance scheme: Sustainable Development of Informal Settlements and Citarum Basin Ecologies (Nov 2019-Dec 2021)
Recent news and events
Monash researchers and the Citarum program team, along with our partners Universitas Indonesia, Universitas Padjadjaran, West Java Environmental Agency and R&D Agency, recently participated in the hybrid 24th International River Symposium in Brisbane.
11 Oct 2021
Monash University and the Provincial Government of West Java, Indonesia, today signed a Letter of Intent to collaborate on developing new solutions to restore the Citarum River – one of the most polluted rivers in the world.
22 Jul 2021
Major program milestone reached as demonstration site officially opens.
19 Oct 2019
Graduate research opportunity
The project aims to design, deliver and monitor a socio-technical intervention in a strategic location in the upper river catchment of the Citarum River. We aim to develop evidence through a rigorous program of research in ecological health, well-being and community resilience to climate change.