Improved Piped Water Supply across Cambodia

Builds piped water systems to distribute clean and affordable tap water to rural Cambodian households.



This is member exclusive
content. Click here to unlock

Social causes


SDGs covered


A lack of access to clean and convenient water is a huge issue in Cambodia.
  • In Cambodia, 1 in 4 people do not have access to safe drinking water. Piped water in rural areas is extremely low at only 7%.
  • Cambodia has approximately 14,000 rural villages scattered across the country, home to 80% of the population (12.3 million people). Villages are typically comprised of less than 500 households, most of which lack a year-round supply of clean flowing water. In these communities, the vast majority of inhabitants have a per capita income of less than $5 per day.
There are many barriers to bringing piped water across the country
  • The majority of Cambodia’s rural villages are too dispersed to connect to a centralized water system, and small grid operaters are often urban-focused and/or inefficient, lacking good technical support and access to procurement through economies of scale, and lacking best practice to ensure safe water. Donor-based models require unsustainable financing and private businesses that truck water to houses are expensive and unaffordable.
People are already paying – it just needs the right enterprise model
  • Many village dwellers have reached a level of income where they could afford water supply to the house and in many cases are already paying more for lower quality options. However, no scalable, commercial, and affordable solution for bringing piped water to these areas currently exists. This is the problem that TapEffect addresses.


Tap water – the modern water solution
  • There are many options for increasing access to water, but none that provide as complete a package and with as many benefits as piped water to the house (“tap water”). TapEffect partners with water entrepreneurs and supports them to operate water networks. These networks pipe water to the household and the operator charges them for this service.
  • The clean water provides social impact through providing a basic need for hygiene, health and time improvements and through supporting businesses that can use the water.
How do we achieve scale
  • To achieve scale in water network coverage, TapEffect is building an enterprise that supports water system deployment and operation.
  • There are a lot of barriers to building and operating a water system – TapEffect removes these barriers through having a standard operating model that can be utilized to deliver and manage a water system.
What are the next steps
  • In partnership with World Hope International, TapEffect has built a prototype system. This system has allowed us to test which parts of design, construction, operation, maintenance and planning can be managed by the water operator, and which parts are best supported by TapEffect.
  • The next project will take TapEffect to the next level through allowing us to build a demonstration system that will have multiple networks within an area, delivering water to over 1200 households. The aim is to develop and demonstrate operation and maintenance teams; and tools for central management of the water networks. This will allow us to efficiently support multiple systems and rapidly help to deploy new systems.
  • The long-term strategy of the enterprise allows TapEffect to streamline design and deployment and use feedback loops for improving future designs. The aim is to show that water systems can be brought to communes that have multiple isolated villages, for which a single centralized utility is not cost effective.

Unlock this content

This is member exclusive content. Join us as an AVPN member and unlock more insightful content

Stay updated. Sign up for the #1 newsletter on social investment in Asia.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

©2021 Asian Venture Philanthropy Network | AVPN is registered in Singapore as a charity (UEN 201016116M)