State of water : Cambodia
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State of water environmental issues
Cambodia + Table of contents
+ Overview
+ River Basins
+ Sea Areas
+ Groundwater
+ Drinking Water Sources
+ Enclosed water bodies

5.2 Safe drinking water

The table below highlights the percentage of access to safe drinking water from different water sources by province. It shows that throughout Cambodia access to safe drinking water is estimated at 24 percent. Phnom Penh Municipality has the highest access rate to safe drinking water at 69 percent, followed by Prey Veng Province at 54 percent and Svay Rieng Province at 48 percent. Otdar Meanchey Province has the lowest percentage of people with access to safe drinking water, accounting for 1.4 percent, followed by Kampong Thom at two percent and Ratanakiri Province at three percent. At the national level, 43 percent of the population has access to dug wells. Only 2.5 percent of the population of the country can access piped water.

Table 2: Access to safe drinking water in rural areas by province

Province Main source of drinking water (% of total)
Piped water Tube/pipe well Dug well Spring/river stream, lake/
pond, rain
Purchased Other Total access
to safe drinking water
Bantey Meanchey 1 7.8 27.4 47.9 5.4 10.5 14.2
Battambang 1.3 8.4 41 43.1 4.5 1.7 15.2
Kompong Cham 3.7 8.9 65.6 14.1 5.4 2.3 18
Kompong Chhnang 0.6 15.1 55.5 24.7 0.5 3.6 16.2
Kompong Speu 1.4 17.3 35.3 44 1.8 0.2 20.5
Kompong Thom 1 0.8 81.6 14.2 0.3 2.1 2.1
Kompot 1 5.4 45.1 45.6 2.6 0.3 9
Kandal 4.1 11.9 11.6 54 18 0.4 34
Koh Kong 0.8 1.3 62 6.5 28.8 0.6 30.9
Krachech 1.8 14.5 33.1 39.4 10.7 0.5 27
Mondulkiri 0.6 0.4 16.5 75.8 5.3 1.4 6.3
Phnom Penh 19 9.2 9.4 21 41.1 0.3 69.3
Preah Vihear 1.5 7.5 32 38.9 0.1 20 9.1
Prey Veng 2 51.3 28.7 15.2 0.6 2.2 53.9
Pursat 1.3 4 57.5 28 3 6.2 8.3
Ratanakiri 0.3 2.1 27.1 69.3 0.6 0.6 3
Siem Reap 0.4 5.8 76 11.6 0.6 5.6 6.8
Sihanoukville - - - - - - -
Stung Treng 0.6 11.2 3.7 84.3 0.2 - 12
Svay Rieng 0.6 47.4 47.2 1.5 0.2 3.1 48.2
Takoe 0.5 10.5 37.1 49.9 0.9 1.1 11.9
Otdar Mean Chey 0.1 0.8 18.4 80.2 0.5 - 1.4
Krong Kaeb - - - - - - -
Krong Pailin - - - - - - -
Average for Cambodia 2.5 15.1 43.4 30.4 6.1 2.5 23.7
Source: National Institute of Statistics, Ministry of Planning, 1998

The number of abstractions of groundwater for irrigation and/or for domestic water supply in rural areas is growing rapidly. In 1998, it was estimated that about 2,000 treadle pumps were being installed annually for domestic water supply and home garden irrigation. There are over 20,000 manually operated tube wells for community water supply and over 5,000 large-diameter motorised shallow tube wells. There is no data for abstraction for water supply in rural areas. However, there are an estimated 93,000 functioning water wells and 20,000 ponds used for water supply, and these serve only about 30 percent of the rural population (Ministry of water Resources and Meteorology, 2001).

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Table of contents > 5. Drinking water sources
5.1. Introduction
5.2 Safe drinking water
5.3. Drinking water in study areas
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