A team from the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) is working closely with the Takhmao fire department to provide water to the residents of Takhmao town. Several members of the public have complained about a severe lack of water pressure in recent weeks, with some claiming there is no water coming through the pipes at all.

Pich Chanthy, 39, who lives close to Piphup Thmey market in the Chhouk Va I area of western Phnom Penh, said she was having to purchase water, as the water lines to her home appeared to have dried up.

“There was no issue until March – there was still adequate water at home. Right now, all of the homes in my neighbourhood are without water until 1am or 2am in the morning. This makes life extremely difficult,” she told The Post.

Som Sovann, director of the PPSWA Business Department, told The Post on March 26 that a working group is currently collaborating with the Department of Fire Prevention, Extinguishing, and Rescue and other local authorities to distribute clean water to the people in Phnom Penh and Takhmao who are experiencing shortages.

“Current demand for water is 890,000 cubic metres per day, but we only produce 640,000 cubic metres. We are gradually resolving this issue with the assistance of local state agencies and pertinent units, who have stepped in to provide free water delivery to those in the targeted regions,” he said.

Sovann added that water will be supplied until the start of the upcoming rainy season. He urges local authorities to submit lists of homes that are without water.

“In the interim, we must all be prepared to use water judiciously, and limit any unnecessary use,” he said.

On March 26, the Po Sen Chey district administration and the PPWSA worked with the fire brigade to supply water to homes in Samrong Krom commune as well as several schools. The district administrations of Prek Pnov, Sen Sok, Chbar Ampov, Meanchey and Russey Keo were also working to supply potable water to individuals who needed it.

Them Sam An, governor of Prek Pnov district, told The Post that since the end of February, residents of the Kouk Roka, Ponsang, and Ponhea Pon communes have been without access to clean water. The authorities have been delivering water to their homes, for free.

“Water is crucial for our daily existence. Hence, we provide it to the people who are lacking,” he said.

Kuy Kim Heang, deputy director of the Chbar Ampov district administration, told The Post: “The water authority is working to link a new supply, but hundreds of homes in Kbal Koh commune are without access to clean water.

“In the meantime, the district administration is using fire trucks to supply water to them,” he said.

A new treatment plant will come online in May, providing an additional 200,000 cubic metres a day of clean water. It will be followed by the activation of a second new plant at the beginning of 2024. This will boost water production to over one million cubic metres a day.

“From the beginning of 2024 onwards, all customers in Phnom Penh and Takhmao will have an adequate supply of fresh, clean water,” said the PPWSA on March 23.