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Phnom Penh residents urged to save water

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A boy washes his hands in Daun Penh district’s Phsar Chas commune on Wednesday. Heng Chivoan

Phnom Penh residents urged to save water

The Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) has requested that residents in central Phnom Penh use water sparingly so that residents on the outskirts of the capital have a sufficient supply of water.

The PPWSA said water pressure in parts of the city has decreased lately and water shortages can occur during the dry season.

In a notice issued on March 16, the PPWSA said that Covid-19 had impacted the economic activities of the whole nation and that the PPWSA revenues had also resultantly suffered.

Despite these difficulties, the notice said, the PPWSA had maintained consumer services in the capital and Takhmao town 24-hours a day during the crisis thus far.

The notice further said that during this dry season the level of water in the rivers had decreased to an unusual degree causing an imbalance between the supply of water and the city’s demands for it.

This imbalance means that consumers could experience fluctuations between strong and weak water pressure in their homes and businesses at certain times of the day when many consumers were attempting to use water at the same time, according to the notice.

The notice states that when demand for water exceeds the system’s capacity for supplying water then the water pressure on the outskirts of town would decrease and certain areas on the outskirts could lose water service entirely periodically each day.

“The PPWSA asks that the 40,000 families who live in the western parts of Phnom Penh in certain villages of some communes such as Kamboul, Phleung Chheh Roteh, Khmuonh, Krang Thnong, Kouk Roka, Kantaok, Snao, Trapeang Krasang and Samraong Kraom to please show patience and understanding in light of these difficulties,” the PPWSA requested.

Phnom Penh has for many years enjoyed rapid economic growth and explosive population growth requiring increased water supply services and the PPWSA has already had to build new water treatment plants and expand the network of major pipes to distribute more water to meet the increased demand.

“We have looked for cooperative aid partners to help us meet the water use needs of the citizenry, in line with the clean drinking water policy of the Cambodian government and its sustainable development goal of a 100 per cent guarantee of clean drinking water availability for all citizens in the main business and commercial areas by 2025,” the PPWSA said.

The Bakheng Water Treatment Plant is currently being constructed and the groundbreaking ceremony for the plant was held on February 1.

Tep Nimol who lives in a Borey gated community in Kouk Roka commune told The Post on March 17 that she gets up at 4am or 5am every day to collect water in tanks for daily use.

“I sometimes start filling the tanks from midnight onward because if I don’t do this I will not have water to use. This shortage of water has been a prolonged one and has existed in both the dry and the rainy seasons for the past four years that I’ve been living in this area,” she said.

She indicated her agreement with the PPWSA’s notice and echoed it with her own personal request that Phnom Penh residents use water sparingly to help residents like her who live on the outskirts, especially during the dry season.

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