Securing water supply is critical to improve agricultural production in Cambodia. Irrigation infrastructures currently do exist, but most of the time, they are inoperable because of design problems, the shortage of irrigation networks as well as inadequate management and maintenance. There are around 2,500 hydraulic systems in Cambodia covering a potential irrigated area of around 1.18 million of hectares (out of a total of 3.05 million ha cultivated in the country). Among those irrigation schemes, 15% have never been rehabilitated since their construction during the Khmer Rouges period in the 70s and 22% haven't been rehabilitated since the 90's.
The Water Resources Management and Agroecological Transition for Cambodia 'WAT4CAM" Programme Phase 1 is funded by the European Commission and AFD with the objective of developing the economy and reducing the vulnerability of rural populations to climate change by implementing a hydro-agricultural infrastructures rehabilitation programme targeting the whole chain from water resources management, water services and agricultural production. In partnership with NIRAS Finland Oy, AETS provides technical expertise and backstopping on rice policy, agro-ecological extension service as well as the implementation of rice standards such as sustainable rice standard of the Sustainable Rice Platform, Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) and organic .
The project started on 20 February 2020 and has an expected duration of 48 months with a possible extension.