Giardia lamblia is a waterborne parasite that causes an intestinal infection, known as giardiasis, and it is found not only in countries with inadequate sanitation and unsafe water but also streams and lakes of developed countries. Simple, sensitive, and rapid detection of this pathogen is important for monitoring of drinking water. Here we present a cost-effective and field portable mobile-phone based fluorescence microscopy platform designed for automated detection of Giardia lamblia cysts in large volume water samples (i.e., 10 ml) to be used in low-resource field settings. This fluorescence microscope is integrated with a disposable water-sampling cassette, which is based on a flow-through porous polycarbonate membrane and provides a wide surface area for fluorescence imaging and enumeration of the captured Giardia cysts on the membrane. Water sample of interest, containing fluorescently labeled Giardia cysts, is introduced into the absorbent pads that are in contact with the membrane in the cassette by capillary action, which eliminates the need for electrically driven flow for sample processing. Our fluorescence microscope weighs ~170 grams in total and has all the components of a regular microscope, capable of detecting individual fluorescently labeled cysts under light-emitting-diode (LED) based excitation. Including all the sample preparation, labeling and imaging steps, the entire measurement takes less than one hour for a sample volume of 10 ml. This mobile phone based compact and cost-effective fluorescent imaging platform together with its machine learning based cyst counting interface is easy to use and can even work in resource limited and field settings for spatio-temporal monitoring of water quality.