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Mentors, Yarra Valley Water (YVW) of Melbourne, Australia and Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) completed their final visit to Battambang Waterworks (BTBW) from 11-15 December marking the end of the Water Operator Partnership (WOP) supported by GWOPA/UN-Habitat. The WOP aimed to assist BTBW establish an Asset Register as a first step towards developing an asset management program; and to develop a meter management program.

Over the course of 6 months, the mentors guided BTBW in making an inventory of its main pipes and water meters in Zone 3 that covers 3,369 connections. YVW developed a simple Excel file that serves as a base for BTBW’s asset tagging and identification. BTBW was also advised about the kind of information that needs to be collected in respect of these assets: type of material, make/brand of meter, date of installation, date and cause of bursts in the case of pipelines, etc. BTBW presented the status of its asset tagging and data collection activities with mentors providing guidance for its finalisation.

Mentors also assisted BTBW in the development of a meter management program starting off with a policy and procedure for meter testing and replacement. BTBW agreed that all meters 10 years or older will need to be tested for accuracy. BTBW also commenced work on the development of a digital application for identifying those meters that will be scheduled for testing as per the agreed procedure and to populate the meter data on the agreed format. This will jump-start BTBW’s commercial loss management program. The policy will be signed by BTBW Managing Director before the end of January.

Finally, mentors presented a guide for the development of a Business Improvement Strategy which was first introduced during the second visit at PPWSA. This was presented to top management and the BTBW Managing Director. Managers were keen for a business strategy to be written and agreed amongst department heads as a way to have a clear target for BTBW to aspire to every year and to have clear roles and responsibilities for each department. Director, Mr. Uth Kloeng, agreed to finalise and adopt the strategy.

Mentors YVW and PPWSA offered to continue on-line support if needed.

The WOP was facilitated by WaterLinks. WaterLinks is working on extending the WOP through support by other donors.

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