HYDRAULIC MANAGEMENT WORKS (APSARA National Authority):
The ad hoc group of experts recommends any necessary technical stud-ies to be initiated and carried out in order to re-use the storage and regulation capacities of the ancient hydraulic mechanism. Following the recent re-flooding of the Northern Baray, and that ongoing of the Ang-kor Thom moats, the scheduled re-flooding of portions or of all the East-ern Baray has become the next target for reinstating the former hydraulic pattern.
However, to this aim, the Cambodian authorities need, immediately and permanently, to stop any new settlements within this Baray and quickly undertake the bypass road developments that this re-flooding requires.
The ad hoc group of experts would here like to underline the urgency of the recommended measures.
These numerous hydraulic management works must also provide an op-portunity for recreating the historical landscape of the Angkor site. It is recommended that beyond the important physical impact on the site of the technical engineering works, they be completed with studies and works on landscaping conducive to the preservation and rapid restora-tion of the natural environmental balance.
The size of the works, their tight deadlines, their key impact on the liveli-hood and safety of the populations and also the archaeological sensitivi-ty of the sites where they are carried out on—as seen for instance in the framework of the project associating the APSARA National Authority and France for the restoration of the monumental and natural complex of the Western Mebon—require the implementation of reactive and specific archaeological excavations.
These interventions must be carried out by archaeologists specifically trained in the characteristics of these ancient hydraulic systems, as the in-terventions aim at identifying and recording the sometimes very rich memory of these sites, (i.e. the ancient Spean Thom Bridge on the Siem Reap River).
To this end, the ad hoc group of experts recommends that the APSARA National Authority bolsters the team of archaeologists employed by the Department of Water Management and completes their training. There-by, this Department will have sufficient capacities to meet any emer-gency works on (often) large working sites with all the required expertise and efficiency.