Jatiluhur (Indonesia)

Published on 30 January 2008 (updated on 31 January 2008)
Jatiluhur, one of the largest reservoirs
Jatiluhur, one of the largest reservoirs
(© Coyne & Bellier)

The technique of earth-fill dams was one of the first solutions employed many thousands of years ago. It witnessed a new expansion from 1920 onwards in the United States, and then in the rest of the world after 1945. There were two major reasons for this renewal of interest - the development of earth-moving equipment and the rise of soil mechanics established by Karl Terzaghi.

Commissioned in 1967, the Jatiluhur dam, on the island of Java, is a fine example of a core wall earth-fill and rockfill dam. Designed and built by French companies, it rises to 105 metres in height, making it at the time the highest dam in South East Asia.

The main structure is made up of 9.1 million m3 of earth-fill, to which must be added 420,000 m3 of concrete structures. It retains 3 billion m3 of water, used in the production of electricity, irrigating 240,000 hectares of paddy fields and supplying water to Jakarta, 100 km away.