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Siem Reap set to raise commercial water rate

Water prices for commercial customers in Siem Reap are set to rise next month, in order to raise revenue for a US$5.7 million water distribution system.

A new $8 million water plant is being built by KTC Korea Company, according to Siem Reap Water Supply Authority deputy director Jeav Channy, but the body needs to spend millions to be able to distribute water from the facility.

“The main purpose of increasing the prices is because we would like to get more income to build the new water system and to distribute water to Siem Reap,” he said.

The authority’s 512 commercial customers in Siem Reap would be affected by the February 1 rise, he said, including hotels, restaurants and guesthouses.

The authority is changing the way water prices are measured. Previously, once a business used more than 30 cubic metres (cm) of water in a month, the price was set at 2,000 riel per cm.

Under the new system, the cost of using up to 50 cm of water will be set at 1,900 riel per cm, between 51 and 150 cm is priced at 2,400 riel per cm, 151 to 350 cubic meters will hit 2,900 riel and using more than 350 cms will be charged at 3,400 riel. The announcement was made during an authority meeting at Pacific Hotel last week, which 170 people attended, most of them commercial customers.

At the meeting, Siem Reap provincial deputy governor Bun Tharith said KTC was given permission by the Cambodian government last month to build the water plant about 6 kilometres from the city.

The project would be complete and able to sell clean water to the Siem Reap Water Supply Authority in 2012.

It would be able to produce an estimated 17,000 cms of water per day.

Water Supply Authority deputy director Soum Kounthea said the increased prices would not affect tourism in Siem Reap, citing research from the Japan International Cooperation Agency showing hotels and guesthouses that used ground water would pay a similar price to water authority customers.

Bun Tharith added that recent development of Siem Reap city has meant that clean water was now available to 30 percent of the city population.

He said 80 percent of people living in the city would be able to use clean water by 2015, in line with Cambodia policy and Millennium Development Goals.

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