Sharing the reform process: Learning from the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) (2010)

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With a large percentage of the world’s population moving to urban areas, clean, affordable and timely supply of drinking and domestic water to its residents has become a priority. In most cities of the world, the primary responsibility of supplying drinking and domestic water lies with public utilities. It is a well known fact that water utilities around the world suffer from a series of ailments like poor cost recovery, poor and intermittent supply, and deficit budgets. In recent times significant efforts have been made to reform water utilities through supporting policy changes, public-private partnerships and multi-stakeholder dialogue processes. However some of the most successful models have demonstrated that it is the public utilities themselves that have been able to bring about the much-needed change such as Porto Alegro in Brazil, Kampala in Uganda and Phnom Penh in Cambodia. This publication shares the reform process undertaken in Phnom Penh that has catapulted a war-torn dilapidated water utility into an efficient and profit making utility. This positive transformation has been possible due to enabling policies and political support, granting autonomy to the water utility, appointing a visionary leader and motivated workforce, bringing in efficiency within the system and involving various stakeholders in the process. The PPWSA has shown that it is possible for reforms to become successful if the governance framework is supportive and public utilities can make profits or at least break-even, with affordable tariffs and timely supply of water.
Language: English
Imprint: Mekong Region Water Dialogues Series Publication; No. 3. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Phnom Penh: PPWSA: 2010
Series: Report,