State of water : Cambodia
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State of water environmental issues
Cambodia + Table of contents
+ Overview
+ River Basins
+ Sea Areas
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+ Drinking Water Sources
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5.3. Drinking water in study areas

5.3.1. Domestic water supply in Takeo, Kandal, Kampong Speu, Prey Veng, Kampong Cham, Kamport, Koh Kong, and Phnom Penh Municipality

The volume of domestic water supply for Phnom Penh Municipality is much higher than that of provincial towns. A study by Water Utilization Programme (WUP-JICA) has shown that the estimated amount of urban water usage is approximately 68 million m³ per year. Water extraction at the station in Phnom Penh Municipality is illustrated in the below table.

Table 3: Major river intakes for domestic water supply in Phnom Penh Municipality

Station River Water Extraction (m³/day)
Chrui Changvar Mekong 65,000
Chang Kampong Bassac 20,000
Phnom Penh Port Tonle Sap 100,000
Source: Basin Development Planning – Mekong River Commission

In most provinces and cities outside Phnom Penh Municipality, domestic water use includes water for normal household purposes, such as drinking, food preparation, bathing, washing clothes and dishes, flushing toilets, and watering lawns and gardens. Domestic water use also includes drinking water and bathing water for livestock–this is an important issue for rural livelihoods

Increase of domestic demand is mainly based on population growth. Assuming that the annual domestic demand is between 20 m³ and 100 m³, the total demand for domestic water is in the range of 286,000 m³ per day and 1.4 million m³ per day.

It is estimated that domestic demand increased from 3.1 m³/s to 3.3 m³/s in 2002. Domestic water demand is shown in the below table.

Table 4: Domestic water demand

Population Water Demand, m³/day
1998 2002 1998 2002
4,930,320 5,198,981 271,168 285,944
Source: Basin Development Planning – Mekong River Commission

5.3.2 Access to safe water in Preah Viear (District of Chhaeb) and Stung Treng Provinces (district of Stung Treng and district of Thala Barivaat)

The quality of water supply varies from areas to areas across the Lower Mekong Basin. In the majority of Cambodian provinces, the proportion of the population having access to safe water is less than 24percent. In the Kratie sub-area provinces, a maximum of 40 percent of the population has access to safe water in the province of Kratie, compared to only 25 percent in the provinces of Stung Treng and Mondulkiri.

In addition, during the dry season, the number of households with access to safe water declines in both urban and rural areas. In urban areas, piped water systems increase the availability of safe water. Access to safe water is much more common in the municipalities of Phnom Penh. Water supplies are also improving in secondary urban centres as a result of government and donor investments.


  • National Policy on Water Supply and Sanitation, Coordinating Committee for Developing Clean Water Supply and Sanitation, February 2003
  • Second Socio-Economic Development Plan of Cambodia 2001-2005
  • Basin Development Planning–Mekong River Commission, 2003
  • General Population Census of Cambodia 1998: Final Census Results, National Institute of Statistics, Ministry of Planning, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  • Cambodia Statistical Yearbook 2000, National Institute of Statistics, Ministry of Planning, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  • JICA 1997. Report XXXX
  • Ministry of Industry, Mine,and Energy 2002.
  • Ministry of Planning. 1996
  • Ministry of Water Resources and Meteology.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