Preah Sihanouk provincial governor Kuoch Chamroeun warned he would revoke the business licences of water companies that do not collaborate with relevant officials to expand their reservoirs.
He was speaking at a meeting to deal with water shortages faced by Prey Nop district residents in Veal Rinh and Samrung communes when he issued the warning.
Chamroeun told the companies to expand their reservoirs to store more water and guarantee sufficient use for the residents.
He also instructed the companies to collaborate with the provincial departments of Rural Development; Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation; and Water Resources and Meteorology to work efficiently.
“[The provincial authorities] will not allow the companies to conduct business if next year there are still water shortage problems, even though the companies hold the licences from the Ministry of Commerce,” he said.
Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesman Kheang Phearum confirmed on Wednesday that Veal Rinh commune experienced water shortages and the residents ran into problems using water.
The problem was caused by the weather and also the location of the companies’ reservoirs, he said.
He said: “As measures, the provincial governor instructed the clean water supply service providers in the two communes to expand and restore reservoirs to ensure that water supplies are enough to meet the residents’ needs.
“The governor also instructed the relevant officials to help and coordinate collaboration to provide more technology to companies which obtained the licences and ensure water supplies are sufficient.
“In case the companies cannot supply water for next year, they will have their licences revoked.”
Veal Rinh commune chief Khov Thanith said that residents in his commune have experienced water shortages since the first week of March.
The provincial governor acknowledged the problem and allowed the companies to share water with residents to use first.
The district had two clean water production companies. One of the two was supplying clean water downtown in Veal Rinh and Samrung communes where the water shortages are most severe.
He said: “The water shortage is because the reservoirs are too small. There are no sources to supply water except to pump it from wells. There are more than 2,000 families in Veal Rinh commune.
“Water supplies have been bad since the dry season in early March until now. As the commune chief, I am really happy to see intervention from the provincial governor to solve this problem.”
A Veal Rinh commune resident Uong Vuthy expressed delight at the governor’s intervention.
“Now, there is rainfall and we can collect some rainwater for use. But since March it has been very difficult. Water taps can’t be opened and it comes out slowly.
“It is very difficult to use. As a resident in the commune, I am really happy to see that the provincial governor came down to help find a solution to the problem.”