Engagés pour l'eau et l'assainissement urbains

Commercial and management assistance, Phnom Penh


The objective of the project was to improve the management of the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority through procurement of equipment and services funded by French grants.


At the beginning of the project and after several years of war, the situation was very poor; the water distribution was not continuous, the treatment plants did not meet their design capacity, the pressure in the network was very low and there was a lot of illegal connections. Less than 30% of the water produced was billed to the consumers.

The rehabilitation program covered various fields: rehabilitation of the production facilities, rehabilitation of the distribution facilities and overall improvement in management. LYSA was in charge of the last item and more particularly to set up a proper customer management.

First phase -under the 1991 French grant- implemented over years 1992-93:

  • review and assessment of the overall situation; operation of the various departments of the Water Board.
  • implementation of a field customer census in pilot areas in order to identify rehabilitation needs and to increase revenue collection.
  • designing a computerized billing system.
  • starting the relevant training programs.

Second phase -under the 1992 French grant- implemented over years 1993-94:

  • continuation of the field customer survey and continuation of the rehabilitation works.
  • modelling the network in order to prepare the water supply master plan.
  • installing a billing computer center.
  • procurement of a billing software tailored to the needs.
  • coding the customers files.
  • definition of an appropriate commercial and tariff policy.
  • relevant training

Third phase -under the 1994 French grant- implemented over year 1995:

  • issuing computerized bills to the whole metropolitan area.
  • improving the various procedures.
  • staff training.
  • definition of an action plan to reduce unaccounted-for water and to improve the collection ratio.
  • strengthening of field control to identify illegal connection.
  • standardizing of the squatted areas.
  • management of the so called public wells, supplied by the public network.
  • training and motivation of the revenue collectors.
  • tariff policy.

Fourth phase -under the 1995 French grant- implemented over year 1996 (on-going):

  • continuation of the efficiency improvement policy in the commercial field.
  • procurement of additional computer equipment.
  • development of additional sub-programs to improve the software.
  • leak detection programs.

Performance indicators of the company are improving gradually:

Indicators of performance 1992 1993 1994
Increase in customers number    28.2 % 10.6 %
Billing rate 20.0 % 27.0 % 53.5 %
Covering of expenses 40.6 % 41.1 % 51.1 %