A LEADING expert has urged authorities to build artificial reservoirs to prevent potential agricultural disasters following a leakage that cut off water from 150 farms.
A leak in the Northern Governorate's waterlines left farmers relying on Bahrain's main reservoir in Tubli for several days until water was restored.
However, Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Under-Secretary Shaikh Khalifa bin Isa Al Khalifa's agricultural consultant Professor Mohamad Foda said no crops were damaged in the process.
"From time to time there are some leaks in the main pipes that belong to the Works Ministry ," said Professor Foda.
"Last week there was a leak that needed to be fixed (in the Northern Governorate) and it affected the farmers.
"Our people at the ministry (Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs) were pushing the Works Ministry to get the problem solved as soon as possible.
"On Friday the lines were tested and they failed but on Saturday at 5.50pm the supply was back to normal.
"No crops died from what happened as the farmers were using the water from the reservoirs."
Although the farmers were not affected this time, Dr Foda said the country has to build more reservoirs to be prepared for future water cuts.
"The government should build more reservoirs, not only for the agricultural people but for anyone and everyone who needs it - as a backup," he said.
He said the ministry has lobbied authorities to carry out renovation work at the wastewater treatment plant at Tubli Water Pollution Control Centre (WPCC) to easily transport water to farmers in case of emergencies.
"We are always supporting farmers," he added.
" The Works Ministry had planned to stop water for a week in March in the middle of the season for some major maintenance, but we held several meetings and moved it to June when almost no one is growing anything.
"Announcements about this will go out a few days before to allow farmers to stock water for at least three days, then they will have another opportunity to stock up again after the three days, then work will begin again and the water will be out for another three days.
"Also there is the reservoir that can be used if the water they stocked is not enough." firstname.lastname@example.org