The Sustainable Water Partnership (SWP) is a five-year, Leader with Associates cooperative agreement that
supports U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) thought leadership, innovation and action in global
water security by integrating water security issues into Mission programming through relevant, Mission-specific
initiatives. Together with its partners Tetra Tech, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), World
Resources Institute (WRI), Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and its resource partners’ CEO Water Mandate
and mWater, Winrock International created a Water Security Improvement (WSI) process, which is laid out in Toolkits
#1-#6 (click here (https://www.swpwater.org/toolkit/)). Drawing on the partnership’s collective technical expertise,
the WSI process is a series of steps that helps build the capacity of regional water users and stakeholders
to address water-related risks in their respective geographic area.
SWP is now implementing an activity in Cambodia focusing on the Stung Chinit watershed. The SWP
Cambodia activity is designed to support local stakeholders in safeguarding access to adequate quantities
of acceptable quality water for sustaining livelihoods, human well-being, socioeconomic development, and the
protection of ecosystem services that underpin these development objectives. It will achieve these objectives
through five intermediate results: 1) improved stakeholder awareness and participation in water security; 2)
improved capacity and tools to assess water security risk; 3) improved planning and water governance; 4) improved
capacity and behaviors to implement water resources management (WRM) measures; and 5) improved
collaboration, learning and adaptive response to water risk.
SWP Cambodia officially started project implementation in November 2017. Stakeholder identification and selection
were one among the focuses in the initial stage. Representatives from various groups including, Farmer Water User
Committees (FWUC), Forestry Community, Fishery Community, Water Suppliers, Famer Association, Cashew Nut
Association, Family Rubber Plantation Growers, Vegetable Group Representatives, commune councils, district
administration, and relevant provincial departments were identified and selected as SWP’s key stakeholders who we
engaged and worked with for the entirety of the project period.
To date, SWP Cambodia has increased the engagement and awareness of the target stakeholders both
from government and Civil Society Organization (CSO) representatives to identify key issues of the Stung Chinit
watershed through various stakeholder meeting workshops and field engagements. In its first year, SWP
Cambodia oversaw a comprehensive Water Security Assessment and engaged with stakeholders in numerous
workshops and trainings, the results of which were the engagement the identification of four primary water security
risks in the target watershed:
1. Environmental impacts from upstream ecological degradation,
2. Agricultural pollution,
3. Irrigation and reservoir management and maintenance, and
4. Lack of access to drinking water and sanitation.
Most significantly, the project supported the establishment of key identified stakeholders into four working groups
based on the identified issues.
Each working group is developing a Plan of Interventions (PoI) to address a water security risk with both small-scale
and short-term (1-3 years) interventions (SWP Cambodia YR2 Work Plan, 2018). In Year 2, SWP Cambodia team
will manage the definition and implementation of about 10 small-scale water security actions across the Stung
Chinit watershed. Proposed by stakeholder representatives (primarily through the four working groups) these will be
feasible small-scale community-based activities such as waterway cleanups or water security awareness raising
events. The objective is to mobilize communities such as communes, districts, NGOs, farmer water user committees
(FWUCs), community forestry (CF), community fisheries (CFi), water user associations (WUAs) from across the Stung
Chinit watershed, to reinforce the Water Security Improvement (WSI) process (see Toolkits), promote improved
behaviors and adapt more active water security stewardship of their environment and communities (SWP
Cambodia YR2 Work Plan, 2018).
All of SWP’s key stakeholders are based at the Stung Chinit watershed; therefore, having project focal points at the
watershed level is essential. The Provincial Officer role will be to help the SWP Cambodia team with maintaining
strong relationships with project’s many and diverse stakeholders.