The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days.
The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to supply Siem Reap town and the area’s agriculture sector during the dry season.
ANA’s deputy director of the water management department Phoeun Sokhim told The Post on Monday that his working group has been storing water in the Angkor Wat moat, the Angkor Thom moat, the Northern Baray Reservoir, the Western Baray Reservoir and other areas. Part of the water will serve temple conservation efforts and the rest will be distributed to residents during the dry season.
“The water situation this year is good for specialists to collect at the Baray reservoirs and moats in the Angkor area. This area needs more than 100 million cubic metres of water for sustaining the temples and conservation work during the dry season,” he said.
He said the water the ANA has stored thus far is sufficient. His teams are releasing the water to ancient waterways that the ANA had restored in the past to the Pouk and Siem Reap rivers.
Despite sufficient water supply, the ANA requests that citizens use water economically.
Sokhim explained that after the ANA had restored Angkor’s ancient irrigation systems, water management became easy, and rainwater had been released from the Angkor area and Siem Reap town in the past several years.
According to the ANA, the first priority is to store a sufficient supply of water to sustain the ancient temples. Another portion will be stored for one year to use in Siem Reap town.
Some water will also be used to irrigate 10,000ha of rice paddies for dry season rice and floating rice alike.
Som Tola, a 35-year-old souvenir vendor at the Night Market in Siem Reap town, told The Post on Monday that he admires the ANA for thinking about residents in the town and for taking care of the Angkor Wat and other temples. He said the group has stored water every year without experiencing a shortage.
“Residents don’t have large reservoirs for storing water for one year. But we are lucky to have the ANA’s working group that collects water to be supplied to residents. They use it for a year and have never experienced a shortage,” he said.
Tola added that his family uses water economically and have never experienced a shortage.