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.”

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