PUBLISHED: 27 August 2019

Improving access to and quality of urban drinking water supply

As activities to improve access to and quality of urban drinking water supply, National Strategic Development Plan (NSDP) 2014-2018 envisages the following actions:
• Develop a legal framework for urban water supply
• Promote decentralization and de-concentration in the urban water supply sector
• Transfer full autonomy for service delivery to all provincial waterworks
• Increase sector financing
• Improve sector performance and access to safe, affordable and sustainable water supplies and
• Improve water source protection and enforcement of regulations.
(Each of the above items comes with a number of more specific actions detailed in NSDP 2014-2018)

MIH has been making a number of progresses against all the above key action points in a highly systematic, integrated and well sequenced manner through:
• Enactment of a number of related Prakas (see references)
• Expansion of urban water infrastructure across the country (to improve quantity) – including major infrastructure projects of Public Water Utilities in Battambang, Kampot, Kampong Cham. Private investment in such facilities has also been encouraged and increasing.
• Capacity building of central and provincial water authorities to improve quality of service as well as financial management sustainability of each water supply entity
• Organisational reform including upgrading of relevant government entities and improved human resources management within relevant authorities (e.g. upgrading of the Department of Potable Water Supply to the General Dept of Potable Water Supply in order to enhance the administration of water supply and the enforcement of relevant regulations)
The reform activities are still in progress, but already some concrete results have been achieved which are commendable even from the world standard:
• As far as the Cambodian Millennium Development Goals (CMDGs) are concerned, Goal 7 (Ensuring Environmental Sustainability)’s target on urban water (80% urban population has access by 2015) was achieved well in advance.
• Several provincial water authorities have been improving the financial performance.