WOP: Yarra Valley Water - Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority & Battambang Waterworks
In June 2017, with assistance from GWOPA/ UN-Habitat, Waterlinks and the Cambodian Ministry of Industry and Handicraft, Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) and Yarra Valley Water (YVW) of Melbourne, Australia (co-mentors) engaged in a Water Operators’ Partnership (WOP) with Battambang Waterworks (BBWW) of Cambodia (mentee). This 6-month WOP aimed to assist BBWW to establish an Asset Register as a first step towards developing an asset management and a meter management program.
Through the WOP, the following was achieved:
1) Preparation and issuance of water meter replacement policy/procedure
2) Development of digital form to capture data on meter and pipe repair works
3) Better understanding and appreciation of data being collected by different departments (business and commercial)
4) Improvement of data collection pertinent to meters and pipelines (as an important input to asset management)
5) Start of activities towards asset management. Data sharing among various departments i.e. billing collection, operations, for improved asset management and service delivery
6) Stronger ties between PPWSA and Battambang Waterworks
Total number of operator staff involved in the WOP (Mentor + Mentee): 6-20
% at Managerial Level: 26-50%
% of females: 0-25%
GENERAL WOP INFORMATION
June 15, 2017 - December 31, 2017
Was the code of conduct followed?
Did the operators sign a formal partnership agreement?
- Corporate social responsibility
- New opportunities/challenges for employees
PARTNERS AND THEIR INPUTS
Other supporting organizations
Ministry of Industry and Handicraft, Cambodia
Total cost of WOP ($)
THEMES AND OBJECTIVES
- Asset management
- Non Revenue Water (NRW) management
Please specify other theme(s)
Operations and Maintenace
What types of activities were carried out to help develop operator capacity?
- Classroom training
- Joint planning or work
- Online training
- On the job training
- Site visits
Describe WOPs activities
The agreed short-term activities were as follows:
Establish an Asset Register for pipelines. The objective was to enable the start of effective asset management practices. The same could be used in the future to track asset failure, and costs, that will feed into asset replacement strategies. The asset register, in a simple MS Excel format, was to be developed by mentors. A pilot area was identified, Zone 3 with a total of 95 kilometres of pipelines. BBWW was to identify all pipelines in the pilot area and assign a name (i.e. tagging) for each of them.
Develop a Meter Management Strategy intended to improve replacement procedures and assist in reducing commercial losses. Mentors were to create a customer meter register in MS Excel, similar to the Asset register. BBWW was to identify all customer meters in Zone 3 and tag them. While Zone 3 has a total customer base of 15,375 households, only 3,369 households are connected to the water system.
Describe the overall results
At the completion of the WOP in December 2017, the following results were successfully achieved:
(1) Completed Excel table of the pipe and meter inventory for Zone 3. While some issues remain i.e. better definition of pipe failure, missing customer data, etc. the inventory for Zone 3 is mostly completed. Mentors will need to follow up on the complete inventory in Q1 of 2018 to ensure that the inventory is correctly completed. The inventory forms the initial Asset Register of BBWW.
(2) Presentation of the draft Meter Replacement Procedure to the Director who agreed to implement the same through a formal directive. The meter replacement procedure takes guidance from the experience of PPWSA which had earlier studied the life of a meter averaging at 10 years. The draft will be formalized and translated into Khmer by WaterLinks and will be passed by Battambang Waterworks by mid-February 2018. The draft Meter Replacement Procedure is attached as Annex A
(3) In respect of the pipe replacement procedure, it was agreed by mentors and mentee that this will be put on hold considering that most pipelines are new and the need for replacement will not be relevant in the next 10 years. However, mentors and mentee agreed to continue recording all pipe failures in the Maintenance Information Sheet to better understand the failures and effectively manage the pipe network.
(4) The mentors worked with the IT staff to develop an application for meter testing to implement the Meter Replacement Procedure. The current form for meter testing was converted to digital format to allow better data management. There is a need to revisit the systems being created by IT and ensure that relevant data collected by the various divisions are shared amongst them to support their daily operations.
Other success factors include:
- Strong support from the Ministry of Industry and Handicrafts through his Excellency Ek Sonn Chan who has personally recommended Battambang Waterworks as the mentee and PPWSA as co-mentor.
- Positive attitude and commitment of Battambang Waterworks personnel from the Director to the technical staff who had devoted the time needed to carry out the agreed assigned tasks to ensure the success of the WOP.
- Dedicated mentors (Yarra Valley Water) and co-mentor (PPWSA) who provided time and technical advice during the WOP and who have committed to continue helping Battambang Waterworks even beyond the WOP completion.
- An existing ADB Loan with a capacity building component ( for 4 provinces in Cambodia including Battambang) who can be tapped to continue the work under the WOP and even extend to other 3 provinces.
- Sustainability and replication of work done to other zones within Battambang Waterworks
- The short duration of WOP limited coverage and scope
- Limited funding for the WOP limited the number of visits and location
Under the completed WOP, only the initial steps in building capacity in critical operational areas in BBWW were undertaken. This was due to the limited time and funding that effectively limited the duration and the focus area. In the regular WOPs that Waterlinks facilitates, the duration ranges from 12-18 months to enable to effectively demonstrate the improvements and metrics resulting from such partnerships. This was not the case in Battambang as it was only six (6) months given the time constraints. Furthermore, the limited funding can only accommodate 3 visits as compared to 5 visits in other WOPs facilitated by WaterLinks. Much more needs to be done to (i) embed the knowledge and skills gained, and (ii) complete the work initiated.
Which factors had a positive influence on the success of your WOP?
- Accurate identification of capacity needs
- Appropriate partner selection
- Participation of external actors
- Part of a national improvement process
- Political support
Which factors impeded the success of your WOP?