PAAGERA launches an unprecedented study of water in the Angkor Park

Paagera, the project to improve sanitation and water management in the Angkor Park, initiated in 2012, has moved onto a new level. The visit to France of Dr Hang Peou, head of the water management division of Apsara, the authority responsible for protection of the Angkor site and development of the region, provided an opportunity to launch this unprecedented study of water in the Angkor Park.

In May this year, the regional department of Veolia Eau Ile-de-France welcomed Dr Hang Peou, head of Apsara's water management division. A hydraulic engineer, he has been working since 2004 on rehabilitation of the region's water management system. The improvement plan set up under the name of Paagera* aims to restore the balance essential to cover the needs of the 168,000 inhabitants of the 110 villages in the region while also ensuring continued survival of the monuments declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992.

The floods occurring in 2009 and 2011 revealed deregulation of the flows irrigating the park. The Angkor temples are built on layers of sandy soil that must be kept damp to retain their cohesion. Development of large-scale tourism and growth in the population of Siem Reap have increased pressure on the water table, which must be replenished to maintain the effectiveness of the irrigation system designed at the same time as the temples.

After helping to finance a first study in 2012, the Veolia Foundation renewed its support for the program in 2014. During Dr Hang Peou's visit to Veolia Eau Ile-de-France, the second part of the grant awarded by the Foundation was handed over to the nonprofit Amis d'Angkor, leader of the project. Alongside Veolia Eau Ile-de-France, the interdepartmental wastewater authority for Greater Paris (Siaap)**, the Seine-Normandie water agency (AESN) and the French Development Agency (AFD), the Foundation is participating in the second phase of the study to carry out an audit of the region. Four engineering design firms have been pre-selected and recently received the specifications. The choice of service provider will be announced in July.

20 hydraulic measurement stations already installed

Partner of Paagera from the outset, Veolia Eau Ile-de-France donated six hydraulic remote measurement stations and enabled it to acquire 14 other stations at a price negotiated by the Company with its suppliers. Installation of this equipment made it possible to test the viability of remote management of the sluice gate system to ensure smooth regulation of water resources throughout the year, in the dry season as well as the rainy season.

20 hydraulic measurement stations already installed

* French acronym for "Projet d'amélioration de l'assainissement et de la gestion des eaux dans la région d'Angkor"

** Paagera was launched in 2014 for a period of three years as part of a decentralized cooperation agreement (Oudin-Santini Act) between Siaap and the Siem Reap Governorate. The agreement was also signed by the Association des Amis d'Angkor (AAA), the interdepartmental sanitation authority for the Bièvre Valley (SIAVB) and Apsara (French acronym for "Autorité pour la protection du site et l'aménagement de la région d'Angkor).

Environment and Biodiversity | Cambodia, Kingdom of | 2012/06/05
Association des amis d'Angkor
Optimizing water management in the area of Angkor and Siem Reap in Cambodia.