Collapsed Dam Causes Water Scarcity in Sihanoukville

Some Sihanoukville communities were left without clean water after a dam collapsed, leaking more than three million cubic meters of water
Preah Sihanouk province skyline in 2021. Kiripost/Iea Sonita
Preah Sihanouk province skyline in 2021. Kiripost/Iea Sonita

Work is ongoing to fix a dam after it collapsed on Saturday, leaving many Sihanoukville residents with a shortage of clean water.

A pumping station and a pipe carrying water from the reservoir to one of the city's two water treatment facilities were damaged after the dam at Kbal Chhay waterfall collapsed on Saturday night.

According to Preah Sihanouk provincial governor Kuoch Chamroeun's Facebook page, the second dam collapsed at Kbal Chhay, leaking more than three million cubic meters of water and destroying a pump head to bring water to the third station, causing the suspension of the water supply.

Governor Chamroeun assigned a team to work on resolving the situation the following day to send water to the filtration station as quickly as possible to supply local residents with clean water.

Preah Sihanouk provincial spokesman, Kheang Phearom, said the team saved three dams from the threat of collapse at midnight on January 9, and allocated Anco Water Supply Company to carry out the repair and strengthening work.

The third dam is a strategic dam that guards a fourth. Due to this, the provincial governor has prioritized fixing this dam first. A second technical team has been deployed to hasten the repair and connection of the second dam.

“The installation of the pump head and connection of the water line to the RCI water treatment plant will be finished, and one out of two machines will be able to serve water this evening,” said an Anco Water Supply Company spokesperson.

The cause of the collapse is currently being investigated by specialists.

“It is not completely affected; other areas have water stations where water supply has not been impacted. It has affected roughly 10 areas in Sihanoukville and some have insufficient water,” Phearom told Kiripost on Monday.

Anco Water Supply Company said that this evening it will install a pump machine and re-supply water.

In particular, he added that the power grid repair is prepared and simply needs the current to be connected to the pump.