Water shortages raise alarm in Phnom Penh

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Water shortages raise alarm in Phnom Penh

Source: The Phnom Penh Post
Date: 15 March 2020

As temperatures rise across the Kingdom, several communes in Phnom Penh are reporting water shortages.

Tan Ratanak, a 22-year-old woman from Phnom Penh’s Russey Keo district, told The Post there was no water in her commune last week.

“All last week, from 7am to 8:30pm, not a single drop came out of the faucet. It happened to all the neighbours. Some evenings, the water didn’t return until 10pm,” she said.

Ratanak claimed the problem with the water supply was caused by renovations of canals and streets in the capital.

Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) director-general Sim Sitha said the shortage was not due to technical issues but to an unexpected increase in consumption.

“We can supply 600,000 cubic metres per day while demand has now exceeded 700,000 cubic metres. We are about 100,000 cubic meters short,” he said.

Sitha said water supply in the capital is increasing every year but not as fast as the demand. According to him, in 2016, PPWSA produced only 400,000 cubic metres of clean water daily.

The government is now building a new water treatment plant in Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar district. The project which is still in the early stages is being built at a cost of $300 million and can produce 400,000 cubic metres per day.

Once construction of the plant completes in 2023, Sitha says he hopes water shortages will end.

On Friday, Phnom Penh governor Khuong Sreng urged district authorities to prioritise solving the water shortage issue.

“As Phnom Penh grows, and more houses and high-rise buildings are built, demand for water will continue to expand,” he warned.


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