The Apsara Authority is pumping water into the moat and ponds at Angkor Wat during the current dry spell.
Apsara spokesman Long Kosal yesterday said that Cambodia is being affected by the El Nino phenomenon which is causing extremely hot weather leading to severe water loss due to evaporation. He said this has seriously impacted water management in the Angkor area.
“Groundwater and surface water is very important to maintain the beauty and environment in the Angkor area, especially Angkor Wat temple,” he said. “So to maintain the right level of water in the moat and ponds around Angkor Wat temple requires proper water management.
Mr Kosal said the authority is pumping water into the southern pond at Angkor Wat to maintain its water level and will do so for the northern pond after current archaeological work in it are complete.
“We are pumping water from Siem Reap river which is the only major source of supply for the Angkor area,” he added.
Phoeun Sokhim, deputy director of the Department of Water Management at the Apsara Authority, yesterday said that the moat surrounding Angkor Wat is losing more than 10,000 cubic meters per day due to evaporation and into the ground.
“Although the water evaporation is high, it does not affect the level of water in the Angkor Wat moat, because the moat contains more than one million cubic meters of water which is maintained through regular pumping,” he said.
Mr Sokhim noted that the Apsara Authority has also restored an ancient waterway system to help water flow from the Angkor Thom moat to maintain the water level in Angkor Wat moat.
He added that Apsara Authority is also regularly cooperating with the Siem Reap Water Supply Authority to manage the amount of underground water being pumped to address shortage in the area.
Mr Sokhim said any excessive pumping of underground water can impact the soil which poses a risk to conservation of temples in the Angkor area.
Kol Putra, a tourist guide at the Angkor area, yesterday said he supports the Apsara Authority’s actions to maintain the water balance in the Angkor Wat moat.
“I really support the move by Apsara Authority to maintain the beauty of the surroundings at this World Heritage site,” he said.