Third World Centre for Water Management

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Water Supply of Phnom Penh: An Example of Good Governance

During the 1980s, after years of centralized management and a culture of inefficiency and corruption, the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) was dysfunctional. Unaccounted for water routinely surpassed 70%. During the 15-year timeframe between 1993 and 2008, it experienced a metamorphosis; with enlightened management and dedicated and competent staff, the Authority has been completely turned around. Its annual water production increased by 437%, the distribution network by 557%, pressure of the system by 1260%, and its customer base by 662%. Unaccounted for water was reduced from 72% to 6.19%. Its profit increased consistently as has the amount of taxes paid to the Cambodian Government. This paper is a summary of an independent evaluation that examines how this remarkable transformation has been achieved.

Asit K. Biswas and Cecilia Tortajada, 2010, “Water Supply of Phnom Penh: An Example of Good Governance”, International Journal of Water Resources Development, Volume 26, Issue 2, pages 157-172. DOI: 10.1080/07900621003768859

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