READING PASSAGE 2
You are advised to spend about 20 minutes on Questions 14-25 which are based on Reading Passage 2, "The Muang Faai Irrigation System of Northern Thailand".
Reading Passage 2 has 7 sections.
Choose the most suitable heading for each section from the list of headings (A-L) below. Write the appropriate letter (A-L) in boxes 14-19 on your answer sheet.
N.B. There are more headings than sections, so you will not use all of them.
List of Headings
A) Rituals and beliefs
B) Topography of Northern Thailand
C) The forests of Northern Thailand
D) Preserving the system
E) Agricultural practices
F) Village life
G) Water distribution principles
H) Maintaining natural balances
I) Structure of the irrigation system
J) User's rights
K) User's obligations
L) Community control
14. Section 1
15. Section 2
16. Section 3
17. Section 4
Example Section 5 A
18. Section 6
19. Section 7
THE MUANG FAAI IRRIGATION SYSTEM OF NORTHERN THAILAND
Northern Thailand consists mainly of long mountain chains interspersed with valley bottoms where streams and rice fields dominate the landscape. Most of the remaining forests of the North are found at higher altitudes. The forests ensure regular seasonal rainfall for the whole area and at the same time moderate runoff, so that there is water throughout the year.
The lowland communities have developed an agricultural system adapted to, and partially determining, the distinctive ecosystems of their areas. Practicing wet-rice agriculture in the valley-bottoms, the lowlanders also raise pigs, ducks and chickens and cultivate vegetable gardens in their villages further up the slopes. Rice, beans, corn and native vegetables are planted in hill fields above the villages, and wild vegetables and herbal medicines are gathered and wild game hunted in the forests higher up the hillsides. The forests also serve as grazing grounds for cows and buffalo, and are a source of wood for household utensils, cooking fuel, construction and farming tools. Fish are to be found in the streams and in the irrigation system and wet-rice fields, providing both food and pest control.
In its essentials, a muang faai system consists of a small reservoir which feeds an intricate, branching network of small channels carrying water in carefully calibrated quantities through clusters of rice terraces in valley bottoms. The system taps into a stream above the highest rice field and, when there is sufficient water, discharges back into the same stream at a point below the bottom field. The water in the reservoir at the top, which is diverted into a main channel (Iam muang) and from there into the different fields, is slowed or held back not by an impervious dam, but by a series of barriers constructed of bunches of bamboo or saplings which allow silt, soil and sand to pass through.
Water from the Iam muang is measured out among the farmers according to the extent of their rice fields and the amount of water available from the main channel. Also considered are the height of the fields, their distance from the main channel and their soil type. The size and depth of side-channels are then adjusted so that only the allocated amount of water flows into each farmer's field.
Rituals and beliefs connected with muang faai reflect the villagers' submission to, respect for, and friendship with nature, rather than an attempt to master it . In mountains, forests, watersheds and water, villagers see things of great value and power. This power has a favourable aspect, and one that benefits humans. But at the same time, if certain boundaries are overstepped and nature is damaged, the spirits will punish humans. Therefore, when it is necessary to use nature for the necessities of life, villagers take care to inform the spirits what they intend to do, simultaneously begging pardon for their actions.
Keeping a muang faai system going demands cooperation and collective management, sometimes within a single village, sometimes across three or four different subdistricts including many villages. The rules or common agreements arrived at during the yearly meeting amount to a social contract. They govern how water is to be distributed, how flow is to be controlled according to seasonal schedules, how barriers are to be maintained and channels dredged, how conflicts over water use are to be settled, and how the forest around the reservoir is to be preserved as a guarantee of a steady water supply and a source of materials to repair the system.
The fundamental principle of water rights under muang faai is that everyone in the system must get enough to survive; while many patterns of distribution are possible, none can violate this basic tenet. On the whole, the systems also rest on the assumption that local water is common property. No one can take control of it by force, and it must be used in accord with the communal agreements. Although there are inequalities in land holding, no one has the right to an excessive amount of fertile land. The way in which many muang faai systems expand tends to reinforce further the claims of community security over those of individual entrepreneurship. In the gradual process of opening up new land and digging connecting channels, each local household often ends up with scattered holdings over the whole irrigation areas. Unlike modern irrigation systems, under which the most powerful people generally end up closest to the sources of water, this arrangement encourages everyone to take care that no part of the system is unduly favoured or neglected.
The chart below illustrates the agricultural system of the lowland communities.
Select words from Reading Passage 2 to fill the spaces in the chart. Use UP TO THREE WORDS for each space. Write your answers in boxes 20-23 on your answer sheet.
grazing cows, buffalo
Valley bottom gathering …… (20) ……, hunting wild animals
cultivating …… (21) ……
raising …… (22) …… cultivating vegetables
growing …… (23) ……
From the list below, select the three main structures which constitute the muang faai irrigation system. Write the THREE appropriate letters, in any order, in box 24 on your answer sheet.
From the list below, select two criteria for allocating water to farmers. Write TWO appropriate letters, in any order, in box 25 on your answer sheet.
A) field characteristics
B) social status
C) location of field
D) height of barriers
E) fees paid
F) water available