8. Monitoring of hydraulic systems in the farming structures

The group made the following assessments:

  • The current production systems are extensible towards self-sufficiency;
  • Irrigation capacity from the catchment area’s water resources is limited to 10,000ha for the two seasons;
  • Population density is relatively high in the irrigated areas (about 1h/family) and the province must also cope with an influx of Cambodian emigrants;
  • The planned influx of tourists in the coming years will drive significant socio-economic changes, as well as demand for agricultural products (market gardening, fruits, wood for crafts);
  • The available capacity could support crop diversification to meet need demand;
  • Hydraulic development is ongoing (phase I-94-97) and a reforestation project is planned to protect the archaeological sites.

The group also made several recommendations:

  • During the first phase (1994-1997) of the hydraulic development project, relevant monitoring elements must be in place to conduct a first annual detailed assessment of the water cycle and its uses. All available data must be collected to this end, without delaying the implementation of priority activities;
  • This assessment must be able to provide essential data in designing alternative options for regional development;
  • The usage of irrigation water should not increase beyond the current 10,000ha and water management should be improved;
  • The Siem Reap River rate of flow should remain similar to its natural rate, specifically a reserve flow of 2m3/second at its lowest level and water quality that supports the protection of aquatic fauna;
  • A hydraulic methodology should be developed to implement the activities mentioned above;
  • Crop diversification should be planned for based on predictable demand, in particular for market gardening for which the sandy soils currently used for rice growing seem better suited;
  • As part of this diversification process, other productions (firewood, wood for crafts and construction) and crops (seeds and plants) should be supported in non-irrigated areas;