The Australian embassy last week launched the Cambodia-Australia Water Utility Improvement Programme (WUIP) which aims to support the Kingdom’s water operators and improve water service delivery throughout the country.
In a press release on Tuesday, the embassy said the WUIP, which was launched on July 8, would connect South East Water, a major water utility based in Melbourne, Australia, with three Cambodian private water utilities through a two-year knowledge sharing programme to improve access to safe and reliable water for thousands of Cambodians.
It said the partnership would provide Cambodian utilities with exposure to the high-quality technology and management practices of Australian water utilities.
“This programme will create long-term relationships and knowledge exchange between Cambodian and Australian institutions."
“This is part of our commitment to supporting Cambodia to develop the quality infrastructure and services it needs to transition to a more resilient, inclusive and prosperous country,” Australian ambassador Angella Corcoran said.
The WUIP is being facilitated by the Australian Water Association (AWA) in partnership with the Cambodian Water Supply Association (CWA).
CWA relationships manager Sang Bernadin told The Post that this was the first scheme to partner with the AWA and it was being conducted with the assistance of the Australian government.
“The scheme is of the utmost importance to help Cambodian operators produce better quality water by exchanging knowledge, new technologies and expertise. It will allow operators to expand their networks in their service areas,” she said.
Bernadin said Melbourne’s South East Water visited Cambodia last week to study the country’s clean water situation and learn about the different production techniques.
“The company also advised the three water supply operators who have seen the difficulties of using clean water technology, such as non-standard and excessive use of electricity and loss of profit through leaks."
“Now the Australian company has seen the situation here, the three water supply operators have been invited to Australia so they can formulate a joint plan. There will be training courses and a study tour at South East Water,” she said.
The Australian embassy said in its press release: “Building on this work, the AWA and the CWA will be arranging an Australian delegation to the Cambodian Water Conference and Exhibition in October, creating further opportunities for collaboration and exchange of knowledge and technology.”
Bernadin said the forum would help Cambodian water supply operators extend their licensed networks and provide another chance to learn how their Australian development partners could help with Cambodia’s water supply system.