Recent progress in pipe water sector in Cambodia


Achievement in Cambodia’s water sector has been very impressive, particularly in the last couple of years. In terms of formality especially.

When I involved in water sector project for the first time in 2014, there were about 140 water operators who have been officially licensed as water providers in Cambodia. This number includes 12 public utilities, with two of them are autonomous public enterprises. This year, I have engaged again. The number of licensed water operators has now reached somewhere around 200, including 2 additional public utilities (one is still under construction as of the date of this post).

The public sector is estimated to provide services to over 1.2 million people, while the private sector accounts for an estimated 1.4 million people served with piped water throughout Cambodia (Ref). The majority of private providers are serving between 750 and 3,000 household connections, although a small number of larger private operators exist.

Thanks to generous development partners such as World Bank (WSP), ADB, and JICA who have been providing continuing support to facilitate increased service provision through this vibrant private sector, many new investment projects in this sector are in the pipeline, as illustrated by an extensive applied service area proposed in the new pre-feasibility study and new permit applications. The following map is what I produced to support project team at General Department of Potable Water Supply (GDPWS) of Ministry of Industry and Handicraft in presenting recent sectoral progress to the ministerial leaders. The map is drawn based on the most up-to-date data provided by GDPWS team. Double thumb up for their hard work.

Now with the new one-year World Bank (WSP) TA project on Enhancement of existing Water Supply Monitoring System (WSMS) which is to be completed early next year, GDPWS team should then be able to produce similar map easily using the WSMS’s web platform. I am involved as user requirement and design specialist in this new project, and thank to colleagues from GDPWS for the intensive collaboration during the past 1 month.

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