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Cambodian-Australian innovation partnership increases access to safe drinking water

Today, the Australian Water Association in partnership with Dupont Australia, Tiger Water Solutions, Water Environment (W.E) Venture Co., Ltd, the Cambodian Water Supply Association (CWA), Investing In Infrastructure (3i) and Australian Aid successfully completed a new drinking water treatment system supplying more than 3,000 customers in Prek Chik Commune, Battambang Province, Cambodia.

The project funded by the Australian Government through a A$49 million program, Investing in Infrastructure Program (3i) involves the installation of innovative membrane treatment technology manufactured by DuPont Australia and a 100,000L above ground steel tank manufactured by Tiger Water Solutions. The treatment and storage systems have been installed and operated by Cambodia’s We Venture Water Company with assistance provided from Australia.

The project is part of a broader partnership between the Australian Water Association (AWA) and the Cambodian Water Supply Association (CWA) to connect the Cambodian and Australian water sectors to share knowledge and innovation in supporting a sustainable water future.

“The Cambodian Water Supply Association are pleased to bring Australian innovation to the Cambodian water sector under our partnership with the AWA.  These projects not only increase access to safe drinking water but provide a showcase demonstration for all other private water supply operators in Cambodia to visit and learn from.  We are looking forward to coordinating training for our members interested in the technology”, said Minh LIM Executive Director of the CWA.

The membrane treatment technology first originated from the medical industry to filter virus and bacteria from blood and was later adapted to treat water. UF membranes are now used worldwide in a range of different water treatment applications.

“DuPont Water Solutions is honoured to be delivering our first MEMCOR® Ultra Filtration membrane Unit to Cambodia. Developed and manufactured in Australia, Memcor UF technology provides a simple yet robust membrane treatment of variable surface waters; which will help meet Cambodia’s goals for increasing access to safe and affordable drinking water for all. We thank the AWA and Australian Government for this initiative and are excited to grow our partnerships in Cambodia”, said Bruce Biltoft, Regional Commercial Manager.

The project also involves installation of an above ground steel tank designed to provide improved water quality, protect against flood waters, provide continuity of supply and can be installed at a lower cost compared to underground concrete tanks.

Tiger Water Solutions is proud to participate in the project by providing a 100,000L steel liner storage tank as a reservoir and treatment for raw water.  Our products are designed and developed in Australia and are constructed to high quality standards which means that the tank in combination with Dupont's Memcor UF unit will help to provide safe and affordable water to the community in Prek Chik for many years to come. Said Matthew Redshaw from Tiger Water Solutions.

The project will investigate the cost and benefit of new innovations in comparison to conventional treatment and storage systems typically used across Cambodia.

"I am delighted to see Australian water innovation delivering safe drinking water to the people of Battambang under this enterprise partnership between Tiger Water Solutions, DuPont Australia and WE Venture Cambodia Co., Ltd. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, this project has shown that our two countries can still work together in increasing access to safe, affordable and reliable drinking water," said Ambassador Pablo Kang, the Australian Ambassador to Cambodia.

This drinking water project forms part of the Australian Governments 3i Program to showcase Australian water innovation and expertise and provide support for the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) and Australian Government’s objectives for increased access to safe, reliable, and affordable water services.  Outcomes from the project will support the Government of Cambodia’s water and innovation agenda.

More information on the Australian Water Association’s International Program can be found here.