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Siem Reap farmers asked to conserve West Baray water

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times Share:
KT/Mai Vireak

With drought looming large, farmers who irrigate their paddy fields from the West Baray area in the Angkor Archaeological Park in Siem Reap province are asked to conserve water.

Recently, Apsara Authority officials met with farmers who are using the water from West Baray, the largest man-made reservoir built in the early 11th century, to conserve it since dry spell could be prolonged.

“The people have to help conserve water when they use it from West Baray. Currently, some farmers in Siem Reap city and Puok district are using water from the West Baray to irrigate 7,500 hectares of dry-season rice fields,” Apsara Authority said in a statement.

It said that authorities opened the sluicegate to release water to supply the rice fields between November and February until it is harvested.

It said that farmers should request for the release of water through their local authorities or community to Apsara Authority.

It said that Water Management department officials will work closely with local communities so that water can be used frugally.

It said that Siem Reap Water Supply Authority also supplies about 10,000 cubic metres of water from West Baray every day to the households in Siem Reap city.

Long Kosal, spokesman for Apsara Authority, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Last month, Prime Minister Hun Sen directed the relevant ministries and local authorities to conserve water for use during the dry season because the Kingdom will experience extremely hot weather next year.

Mr Hun Sen urged for the cultivation of dry-season rice to be done only once because although the water in the reservoirs and some water sources is normal, farmers should conserve it for daily consumption and growing crops.

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