Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ground water may be over-exploited: NGOs

Ground water may be over-exploited: NGOs

A young child refills a bottle with water from a well pump in in Preah Vihear’s Chheb district last year.
A young child refills a bottle with water from a well pump in in Preah Vihear’s Chheb district last year. Hong Menea

Ground water may be over-exploited: NGOs

Over-exploitation of the Kingdom’s underground water sources has contributed to the water scarcity problem faced by the country during the past two years of drought, relief organisations said yesterday.

Socheath So, humanitarian and emergency affairs manager for World Vision International-Cambodia, said that based on their fieldwork in several provinces, there is actually an excess of wells.

“One well should serve 15-25 families,” he said. But in some areas “we see one well for five to eight families”, a count that does not include private wells.

“In Kampong Thom, it’s the case that they dig a little deep and used to get the water and now they cannot,” he said.

Loek Sothea, resilience programme manager for Oxfam, an organisation that builds wells itself as part of their operation, said that year-by-year he has similarly observed wells needing to be deeper, but cautioned that the causes may be a combination of over-exploitation and a natural phenomenon. “More research is needed on that.”

However, wasteful agricultural practices may also contribute. Where irrigation is lacking, farmers may resort to using well water, “and there is blame [being put] on that,” he said.

Regardless, as wells run dry, deeper and costlier wells are dug. And World Vision’s So said that where 20 metres of depth once sufficed, now one must dig 50 metres or more.

“This is a really bad sign.”


  • Professor beaten by mob in Phnom Penh after alleged hit-and-run

    Updated with new information: 6:44am, Tuesday March 13 2018 A university professor accused of a hit-and-run has been transported to Vietnam with serious head injuries after he was brutally beaten by a mob in Phnom Penh late Sunday afternoon. A video of the attack shows a group

  • American ‘fugitive’ arrested in Cambodia outside of US Embassy

    An American citizen was arrested on request by the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Tuesday, according to Cambodian police. Major General Uk Hei Sela, chief of investigations at the Department of Immigration, identified the man as American Jan Sterling Hagen, and said he was

  • One Australian, one Cambodian killed in explosion at military base

    Updated: 5:20pm, Friday 16 March 2018 An Australian tourist and a Cambodian soldier were killed in an explosion on Thursday afternoon at an army base in Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province. The Australian, whom the government initially identified as a technical demining expert in his 40s, and

  • Australians protest Asean summit visit by PM Hun Sen

    Hundreds of protesters gathered in Sydney’s Hyde Park on Friday to protest against Cambodian strongman Hun Sen, who claimed to have been gifted millions of dollars by the Australian government ahead of a special Asean summit this weekend. An estimated 300 protesters, the majority of