Urban Water Wire

Urban Planning for the Province of Kep, Cambodia


Kep Province

Futur Arc Prize, BCI Asia


Arnaud Réaux, Pierre Pelois + UrbanWater, Engineering


Kep, 2013

Accessing water and sanitation is the major issue in South East Asia. Khmer civilization has been a pioneer  for effective water management during the 9th century to the 14th century. With a great skill, they were able to transform the large scale territory to managing water during the two seasons. 

Paradoxically, now Cambodia is one of the lowest ranked country for the water access. Today  the country experiences an over-rapid tourist boom, and the Cambodian coast interest the investors.

The coast territories were highly urbanized on the seafront to meet tourist demand (for example Sihanoukville), and the hotel install oversized water pumps were the local population live. Siem Reap is an « example » ; to meet the tourist demand the hotel maximized pumps… the city ground descended because the ground water doesn’t have time to recharge. It is created a water access imbalance for a local population.

 Kep, 1992

Kep, 1992

UWW is proposing a urban model  solution for the tourism Kep province development. UWW is an urban model  based on a water cycle generator. The project utilizes geography as an urban structure for the futur tourism city.

We believe that the urbanism must incorporate a geographical approach. Understand the ecosystem AND sociosystem on the site before thinking the project. This approach is the most pertinent to intensify the existing system.

For this, we researched the territory structures but also the water use habits. The project is primarily conceptualized on the water uses observed in the territory, with inhabitants. UWW is an intensification, it proposed some solutions from existing use.

Thinking the city by the water need a specific decomposition strata, geographical water, historical water, ethnological and anthropological water. It is necessary to propose a long-term urban vision. UWW is a technical solution but also a water support knoledge-generation. These are the ingredients to a real contemporary urban design.

UWW is an urban system that allows to create resources cycles, the main purpose is to use the water table as a large storage tank. UWW is an urban structure which use water discharged by inhabitants to create a fertile living environment. UWW is treating the water by photoremediation system in the public space before infiltrate in the ground water. More the inhabitants pump in groundwater, more they reject in the UWW, more water is treated and infiltrated in the groundwater.