This project aims at; (i) establish long-term sustainable arrangements for operation and maintenance of large dams; and (ii) improve water resources planning.
Mr. Sudharma Elakanda
information system; mutli-stakeholders; involvement; planning; monitoring
Sri Lanka possesses a gigantic and complex system of inter-related dams, canals and tank cascade systems. This unique hydraulic system has a history of more than 2500 years. So as to face the ageing of these structures, which results in structural deficiencies, but also to take up the challenges of satisfying growing water needs and balancing competing uses for the socio-economic development of the country, the Project gather all stakeholders representing energy, irrigation, urban water and ecosystems are joinging hands for implementing a project related to Dam safety and Operational Efficiency Improvement, hydro-meteorological Information system Improvement and Multi-sector Water Resource Planning.
Most of the national territory of Sri-Lanka (mainly North, North-East, East & Central).
Water Resources Board, Mahaweli Authority of Sri Lanka, Irrigation Department, National Water Supply & Drainage Board, Ceylon Electricity Board, Department of Meteorology of Sri-Lanka, Disaster Management Center (DMC) of Sri Lanka, World Bank
This Solution aims to answer two main questions :
- How to make ancient structures (dams) or more recent ones which have suffered of lack of maintenance safe for their the population living downstream?
- How to modernize the operation of a nationwide hydraulic system so as to manage water resources for the benefit of all uses, including ecosystems ?
The approach, that encompass technical, social, economic aspects as well as sector policies may contribute to the targeted guidelines.
The Solution is “innovative” as it involves all stakeholders who were traditionally acting separately according usual sector-based policies.
The expected outcomes are as follows :
- operationally-efficient and risk-minimized dams with a safety monitoring system in place to ensure safety operation and maintenance of the dams;
a modernized and efficient Hydro-meteorological Information System;
- a National Water Use Master Plan addressing both surface and ground water;
- updated Mahaweli Master Plan to identify and develop untapped potential Water Resources
- a skilled and competent staff to manage the water resources and structures in a sustainable manner and to meet the emerging challenges in the water sector.
- increase in Agricultural Production and improving the livelihood of Rural Community.
Project Management and monitoring is undertaken by the Project Management Unit (PMU) established under the Ministry of Agriculture Development and Agrarian Services. PMU is a coordinating and facilitating unit which facilitates the project implementation through four Implementing Agencies namely Department of Irrigation, Sri Lanka Mahaweli Authority, Ceylon Electricity Board and National Water Supply & Drainage Board.
The institutions / political bodies who would / should be most interested in this Solution are Authorities whose territories are a situation of growing urban and rural demand for water and increasing competition for water among different uses.
Owners of infrastructures who are facing long term heavy maintenance problem can also be interested.
The solution is grounded on a sector wide approach to swapping individual interests to maximize shared management of water resources, and it includes operational efficiency improvements.
The organizations / institutions/committees who should commit to this solution are :
- public bodies in charge of public safety and/ or resource management
- funding institutions, national, bilateral or international
The involvement of the World Bank in the Project could be considered as a step towards securing these commitments, as it is a kind of guarantee that such an approach is relevant and thus”bankable”.
Mr. Sudharma Elakanda – Project Director (DSWRPP) – Mahaweli Authority of Sri Lanka