The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology has urged farmers in rural and remote areas to use water cautiously as this year’s rainy season is expected to end earlier and bring less rainfall.

The ministry announced on September 13 that Cambodia is experiencing less frequent rain showers this month, noting that 40 to 60 per cent of the country has received low-to-moderate rainfall so far, with heavy rain only falling in mountainous and coastal regions.

For October and November, it predicts that 30 to 40 per cent of the nation will see similar rainfall patterns, accompanied by thunderstorms.

“The highlands will conclude their rainy season in the third week of October, while lowland and coastal areas can expect theirs to end in the fourth week,” it said.

Preah Vihear provincial deputy governor Nop Vuthy announced that upon receiving the ministry’s warning, the authorities had instructed local officials to raise public awareness about the importance of conserving water. He added that the province had already made preparations for potential shortages in outlying areas, including the construction of irrigation systems and reservoirs.

“We’re well-prepared to tackle any lack of supply. If needed, we can open our reservoirs to distribute water to the community,” he said.

Battambang deputy provincial governor of Soeum Bunrith echoed similar sentiments, noting that although the province is abundant in canals, reservoirs, lakes and rivers, saving resources remains crucial.

“During the rainy season, we generally don’t face deficiencies, but some areas might lack sufficient water for rice cultivation. Therefore, it’s important to reserve [it] for future use,” he added.

The ministry has called on all relevant departments, local authorities and the general public to continue practising conservation, particularly in non-urban and remote areas.