Sihanoukville will face a shortage of drinking water in March or April if adequate rains do not come to fill the municipality’s Boeng Prek Tub reservoir, an official warned Wednesday.
First Deputy Sihanoukville Governor Sbong Sarath said the reservoir’s water level is already low due to higher levels of consumption,
in addition to regular dry season
Sihanoukville will require unusual, out-of-season rainfall to avoid the shortage that is expected to occur between late March and early April, Sbong Sarah said, adding that the shortage could affect 70,000 residents of Mittapheap district.
“There won’t be a complete shortage, but people will have to buy water from private sellers who have wells,” he said.
Sbong Sarath attributed the rising demand for water to the new residents and businesses that have flocked to Sihanoukville, where there are now nearly 2,000 hotel rooms as well as factories and other businesses.
One reservoir for rainwater and three large wells supply water to Mittapheap.
To meet the municipality’s needs, Anco Brothers Company Ltd has plans to build a water supply plant and reservoir later this year, a company official said.
Anco Brothers is conducting a feasibility study into using the Kbal Chhay waterfall as a site for the plant, and is in negotiations with the government about its construction, said Lang Hor, assistant to company Chairman Phu Kok An.
He added that the company plans to invest $7 to $8 million to build the water-supply plant expected to produce 30,000 cubic meters of water, and install 17 to 20 kilometers of pipes.
“We see that Sihanoukville needs adequate water, so we plan to help,” Lang Hor said. “There is growing economic activity there so water consumption is also rising.”
He added that, within five to 10 years, the company anticipates increasing the water supply of the Kbal Chhay plant to 50,000 or 60,000 cubic meters.