Mahaweli Water Security Investment Program, Sri Lanka

The island state of Sri Lanka aims to take better advantage of its water resources. Consequently, the Mahaweli Ministry for Development and Environment has launched a major investment programme for sustainable irrigation and drinking water supplies from the Mahaweli River Basin. The program is being financed by the Asian Development Bank.

With a length of 335 km, the Mahaweli is the longest river in Sri Lanka. Based on its huge resource, the river can help alleviate the country’s water shortages. Dams, tunnels, and canals will be constructed to convey water to the dry zone areas in the north of the island.

The Mahaweli Water Security Investment Program (675 million US Dollar) will finance three major projects:

(1) the Kalu Ganga-Moragahakanda Transfer Canal and the Upper Elahera Canal;
(2) the North Western Province Canal Project; and
(3) the raising of Minipe Anicut and Minipe Left Bank Canal Rehabilitation.

Lahmeyer International was entrusted with the program design as well as with project management and supervision.

Phase 1 of this very large project comprises the integrated planning and development of measures for irrigation and water supply, including the tender design for construction of the infrastructure. Lahmeyer International will prepare feasibility studies for future works with an estimated project volume of 1 billion US$ (Phase 2).

Client / FinancierMinistry of Mahaweli Development and Environment (financed by Asian Development Bank)
LocationSri Lanka
Duration2015 – ongoing (2020)
Technical Data
  • Irrigation (103,000 ha) and drinking water (162 MCM) for northern dry zone of Sri Lanka
  • Food and water security in former conflict zones
  • Increase cropping intensity and water productivity in the dry season
  • Capacity building for irrigation / agriculture agencies and farmers
  • Engineering planning, detailed design and tender documents
  • Works construction supervision, contract management, program management
  • Institutional development / training
  • Strategic environmental assessment
  • Project preparation and preliminary designs for proposed Phase 2 (mainly irrigation; approximately 1.0 billion US Dollar)

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