Cambodian Water Authority Wins Stockholm Industry Water Award

PPWSA and Chan were awarded for helping to refurbish the authority’s supply system, introduce cost-effective billing and payment collection methods, as well as helping to provide water to almost all of the city’s residents.

Prior to this work starting in 1993, decades of conflict left the water supply system running low up until the 1990s.

By 1998, the PPWSA had provided clean drinking water to all households in the city area and by 2008, its customer base had increased nine fold, which led to higher profitability, according to the Stockholm International Water Institute. Water losses due to leakages in pipes and pumps declined from 72 percent in 1993 to 6 percent by 2008.

“The PPWSA has successfully fought corruption and shown this can be achieved in a developing country on a large-scale basis using simple but effective management techniques that are based on well-accepted business principles and strategies,” the International Award Jury said.

It added that as a self-sufficient company, operating without subsidies from the state, the PPWSA provides 24-hour service and 90 percent coverage to a city of 1.3 million. It fully recovers its costs as it continues to develop both its infrastructure and management.

A happy Chan said that the future goal for the PPWSA is to pave a challenging road ahead:

“We aim to expand water provision at the same rates and standards to Phnom Penh’s suburban areas and surrounding regions. We’re working on reducing water loss from current 5.9 percent to 4 percent by 2020, which would place us in the same league as Singapore and Tokyo.”

According to the Jury, the PPWSA has shown the developing world as a whole that large cities can expect continuous access to clean water and this makes the Director proud:

“We provided an important role model for the development of our nation, Cambodia, which helped improve the country’s image internationally after decades of strife and conflict. Developing nations must believe in their own people’s capabilities to achieve their own goals,” he said.

The PPWSA will receive the award during the World Water Week in Stockholm 2010, September 5-11.

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