Jakarta could be underwater within a decade

The Indonesian capital is sinking by up to 25cm per year in some parts - faster than any other city in the world.
The Indonesian capital is sinking by up to 25cm per year in some parts - faster than any other city in the world. Photo credit: AAP

Scientists are warning Jakarta is likely to be underwater within a decade.

The Indonesian capital is sinking by up to 25cm per year in some parts - faster than any other city in the world.

And while global warming's a hot topic, it's not sea levels rising that's causing the problem - it's a plummeting ground level.

The city has a major lack of piped drinking water, meaning the city's 10 million residents rely on private wells to draw water up from underground aquifers.

As the aquifers grow emptier, they deflate, lowering the city as they go.

Ordinarily, the aquifers would refill. However, since 97 percent of the city is covered with concrete, rain cannot drain through.

Hydrologist JanJaap Brinkman told The Guardian the city is sinking far more rapidly than predicted.

"We studied the data and looked at the mapping - we discovered the city was sinking not perhaps by a centimetre or so per year, as had previously been thought, but by 5 to 10cm on average, and much more in places."

A sea wall is currently under construction as a temporary stop-gap, but no strategy has been enacted to tackle the problem long-term.

Newshub.