The Australian Water Association’s (AWA) international team has taken the first ever Australian delegation to the Cambodian Water Conference and Exhibition to meet with local water professionals and share their expertise.
The delegation consisted of Australian water technology companies, water professionals from South East Water, the 2019 Young Water Professional of the Year Matthew Robertson and Australian Embassy staff.
“The AWA was proud to facilitate the first Australian delegation to attend the third Cambodian Water Conference and Exhibition, to connect the Cambodian and Australian water sectors and to strengthen our relationship with the Cambodian Water Supply Association (CWA) and the Cambodian water sector,” AWA International Manager Paul Smith said.
Cambodia has approximately 400 private water operators, of which 256 are licensed under the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft, and only 30% of the population has access to clean drinking water.
The conference and exhibition brought together more than 400 government ministries, public and private water operators across Cambodia, NGOs and private sector companies to discuss the challenges to achieving 100% access to safe drinking water for all communities by 2025.
Topics covered during the three-day conference included: how to support water operators to accelerate water supply service; developing enterprise partnerships; enhancing private and public investment in piped water supply; improving water quality performance through regulation; and new water treatment technologies.
“Through our Water Utility Improvement Program, we have been able to connect Victorian water utility South East Water with three Cambodian water operators to enhance their water quality treatment, reduce water leakage and protect their assets,” Smith said.
“The outcomes from this program were shared with more than 100 other water operators and students at the conference.
“We also facilitated a Cambodia-Australia young water professional workshop to discuss solutions for Cambodian water operators that will help overcome key challenges and provide young water professionals with valuable work experience.
“AWA will also work with the CWA to strengthen their young water professional network by connecting Cambodian young water professionals with the Australian young water professional network.”
“We are grateful for the funding support from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Cambodia, through its Investing in Infrastructure program, and the Australian Ambassador to Phnom Penh for attending the conference and providing the opening speech.”
The AWA international team is currently at Vietwater’19, Vietnam’s largest water exhibition and forum.