Residents of the capital and neighbouring Takhmao town in Kandal province will no longer face clean water issues from 2023, as the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority’s (PPWSA) daily production capacity passes the one million cubic metre mark, the state-owned utility said on February 3.

Motivated by material clean water shortages recorded in the two localities since 2016, the authority has built new treatment plants and improved existing ones, in addition to expanding distribution networks, it noted in an announcement.

The four water treatment plants under its supervision can produce an average of 600,000 cubic metres per day, it said.

“However, due to an increase in economic activities in Phnom Penh, clean water demand now outstrips production capacity.

“To be specific, the actually demand of clean water is around 800,000 cubic metres per day, and this leads to shortages of clean water during peak hours, especially in the outskirts of Phnom Penh and Takhmao,” the PPWSA said.

It noted that a new treatment plant is under construction in Chroy Changvar district’s Bak Kheng commune in the northeastern corner of the capital, which would add daily production capacity of around 400,000 cubic metres from 2023.

“From 2023 onwards, PPWSA will have the ability to produce one million cubic metres per day, ending the clean water shortages in Phnom Penh and Takhmao town that have posed sustained challenges which have extended into a seventh year – since 2016,” it said.

The authority also called on the public to use water economically during the dry season to ensure sufficient supply, especially to the urban outskirts.

PPWSA deputy director-general Samreth Sovithiea told The Post earlier that an increase in the population, and development in the construction sector – and the number of hotels and factories – had led to a sharper than anticipated rise in demand for water.

“Clean water production in Phnom Penh is not diminishing, but increasing from year to year. The problem is that demand is increasing faster than we expected,” he said, adding that clean water problems will no longer exist by the summer of 2023.