Mis à jour le 08/07/22

Cambodia’s coastal shoreline is in a strategic location in South East Asia, often referred to as the “Southern Economic Corridor”. The resulting strong economic growth experienced over the past decades in this region, recently boosted by massive Chinese investments, has severely put a burden on the freshwater continental resources in addition to the regional changes in climate. Groundwater is particularly stressed by household increasingly relying on individual tube wells to counter balance the undersized distribution network. New national strategic plans are successively implemented developing industrial activities, water infrastructures and expansion of the cities.

This without taking into account the combined effects on the water resources and population, taking the risk of promoting a development model highly unsustainable by breaking the delicate balance of the coastal environments. No environmental observation networks exist in these areas and barely no data are available preventing any assessment of the situation and its potential evolution, especially for groundwater. The lack of knowledge and studies on the topic pushed a group of researchers from the Institute of Technology of Cambodia to tackle this question, as it becomes an expressed concern by the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology. The so called 4C-Water research team chose to specifically focus on the understanding of the functioning of the hydrosystems in coastal catchments and on developing innovative participatory monitoring network of the water resources to produce the first set of accessible data related to the water resource evolution usable by the concerned water community. The team proposes to focus on the area of Sihanoukville in the Preah Sihanouk province. The pilot sites will be the contrasted two major coastal sub-catchments facing respectively city and agriculture development.

The project will

  1. provide a comprehensive assessment of the surface and groundwater resources,
  2. identify the groundwater resource vulnerability to seawater intrusion,
  3. develop a participatory monitoring network of groundwater salinity,
  4. develop innovative way of collecting the measurements (e.g. android API).

The realisation of the project will rely on outputs from different disciplines such as hydrology, hydrogeology, geophysics, geochemistry and computing sciences. To ensure the long term success of this project, the team will be annually evaluated and steered by the international consortium at the Institute of Technology of Cambodia.

Période de soutien 2020-2022