Illegal Pumping Threatens Angkor Wat

Travel Blog  •  Eva Holland  •  09.28.10 | 4:35 PM ET

The Guardian’s Ben Doherty reports from Siem Reap, where the Angkor Wat temple complex is facing yet another threat. Doherty explains:

Unchecked development, and the widespread, unregulated pumping of groundwater throughout Siem Reap city, has raised concerns that the temples, including the world’s largest religious monument, Angkor Wat, could crack or crumble if too much water is drained away.

The temples and towers of the 402-square-kilometre Angkor site sit on a base of sand, kept firm by a constant supply of groundwater that rises and falls with the seasons, but which is now being used to supply a burgeoning city.

With the number of visitors to the northern Cambodian province approaching 2 million a year, increasing pressure is being put on the scarce water resource.

Thousands of illegal private pumps have been sunk across the city, pulling millions of litres of water from the ground each day.

There’s a report in the works that is expected to outline some possible water solutions for the area.

Eva Holland is co-editor of World Hum. She is a former associate editor at Up Here and Up Here Business magazines, and a contributor to Vela. She's based in Canada's Yukon territory.

2 Comments for Illegal Pumping Threatens Angkor Wat

Latoya 09.28.10 | 11:16 PM ET

Water is already scarce if he problem gets worse then tourist won’t travel because of the water situation. Proper water planning is needed to fix the problem.

sherlin 10.04.10 | 2:06 AM ET

The civilization and manners when visiting Hindu temples have a long record and are packed with representation, solemn respect and worship of Brahma’s creation.
it is uncommon to come cross ways an very old temple that has not been reconstructed

Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.