Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia's water woes get US Army tech assist

Cambodia's water woes get US Army tech assist

Children fill bottles at a village’s ground water pump in Preah Vihear province last year.
Children fill bottles at a village’s ground water pump in Preah Vihear province last year. Hong Menea

Cambodia's water woes get US Army tech assist

The US Army Corp of Engineers is providing Cambodia with new tools to understand its growing groundwater shortage.

Last week, the Ministry of Environment, US Army Corp of Engineers and National Council for Sustainable Development hosted a three-day technical exchange on groundwater modelling.

The event aimed to train Cambodian officials on how to use a new software tool that would allow them to see where and why the Kingdom is experiencing groundwater shortages.

“This software will help us see whether the groundwater shortage is from human activity, like overuse, or if it’s from climate change,” said Phan Kongkea, an official at the General Secretariat for Sustainable Development.

Both over-exploitation of water sources and climate change-induced droughts have been pinpointed as the cause for groundwater depletion. A March study suggested that the dwindling supply could leave about 1.5 million farmers without enough water for their crops.

Ideally, the new software would allow the government to understand the issue well enough to address it. But a lack of data could prove an obstacle. “We need to gather the . . . data and start testing how the model works,” said Kongkea.

The council is now collaborating with a variety of bodies including Resource Development International (RDI) and the University of Agriculture to gather the necessary information.

“I don’t think there is sufficient data collection in Cambodia, because new wells are being drilled all the time,” said Chanda Cheng, communications director at RDI. “We have not collected new data lately.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia resumes issuance of tourist visas

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has announced the resumption of its tourist visa and visa exemption programme after a long hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In a letter dated October 20 and addressed to foreign embassies and consulates, foreign minister Prak Sokhonn

  • S’ville set to turn into ‘second Shenzhen’

    The Ministry of Economy and Finance has awarded a master plan consultancy contract to top Chinese institute for the development and transformation of Preah Sihanouk province into a “Model Multi-Purpose Special Economic Zone”, Southeast Asia’s next logistics and resort hub and innovation centre. The