Minister of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation Hem Vanndy announced the appointment of new chairs for the Board of Directors of six public water supply authorities on June 10.

The newly reorganised boards for the Phnom Penh, Stung Treng, Battambang, Pursat, Kampot and Stung Sen Water Supply Authorities aim to bolster the check-and-balance mechanism and ensure effective representation.

Vanndy emphasised that the reorganisation is in line with the government's Pentagonal Strategy-Phase 1, which prioritises water among its five key areas.

He outlined the ministry's commitment to providing clean water that meets four critical criteria: quality, safety, sustainability and affordability.

The minister highlighted the economic significance of the resource, noting its vital role in daily life and its impact on the development of various economic sectors, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), industrial clusters and special economic zones (SEZs).

In his address, Vanndy provided strategic recommendations to all water supply authorities. He underscored the necessity of accountability, regular reporting and strict adherence to standard operating procedures.

The minister also revealed ongoing efforts to improve human resources, enhance operational efficiency and ensure the sustainability of these enterprises. Key initiatives include the development of master plans, investment projects and the promotion of wholesale water sales in underserved areas.

Ek Sonchan, Minister Attached to the Prime Minister and newly appointed chairman of the board of the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA), reaffirmed the commitment of the new board chairs to promoting good governance and achieving significant advancements in the sector.

He said the ministry is exploring the establishment of a Cambodian Water Supply Authority and a water regulator to strengthen the state's strategic role in clean water provision and sector regulation. The Cambodian Water Supply Association (CWA) is encouraged to enhance its capacity by seeking technical support and fostering cooperation with public utilities.

According to the ministry, total water production and distribution by public and private operators exceeded 50 million cubic meters in May. Currently, there are 1,363,032 water connections serving 2,855,565 households across the country, with the distribution network extending to 32,892 kilometres.