Water Supply Services. About 95% of Colombo city is covered by piped water supply. However, low and fluctuating system pressures and intermittent supply is becoming the norm; some areas of the city receive water only in off-peak hours, and other areas receive water for six to ten hours, on average. In 2011, about half of the 290,000 m3/d of water supplied to Colombo city generates no revenue. Non revenue water (NRW) in Colombo city has reached 49% and includes: 33% physical losses, 5% commercial losses, and 11% free water supplied to low income informal settlements. About 700 km of the water supply distribution network in Colombo city is more than 50 years old ; pipes in central Colombo city are more than 100 years old. The capacity of the distribution network has decreased significantly over the years due to seriously degraded pipes. The National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) has not been able to adequately address these problems due to lack of technical capacity, budget, equipment, and institutional capacity. It is also not able to meet the growing demand, and reduce the high losses of water and revenue. Global best practice for NRW reduction offers an effective strategy to make more water available, improve water supply service levels and defer capital investments in an effective and efficient manner, and generate more revenue for NWSDB.
Wastewater Infrastructure and Services . Only 19% of the Greater Colombo population in 2010 is connected to the piped sewerage system; 66% have on site facilities; and about 15% have no sanitary facilities. The population with no sanitation facility disposes their wastewater on the seashore, in canals, and waterways, and on available open ground. The existing piped sewer network in Greater Colombo, built between 1906 and 1920, comprises about 320 km of sewers, 18 pumping stations in two catchmentsnorth and south, and two sea outfalls. The sewer lines have frequent collapses and blockages resulting in flooding neighborhoods with untreated wastewater. One third of pumping facilities are not working, causing frequent overflow to water courses. Some of the deficiencies are being addressed under the ongoing Greater Colombo Wastewater Management Project . Investments proposed in wastewater remain largely unimplemented. The wastewater system has a number of serious operational and managerial problems. The service provider, Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), is constrained by lack of investment funds, management capacity and wastewater tariffs. The proposed investment will expand coverage and improve treatment standard, and sustainability of the service.
ADB Long Term Policy Support and Water and Sanitation Services Delivery. ADBs strategy for the water and sanitation sector is to improve service levels and coverage, and enhance financial viability. ADB has been one of the major development partners in the water supply and sanitation sectors, with loans totaling about $521 million since 1986. Policy dialogue with lessons learned has, and will continue to focus on: (i) institutional reforms and decentralization in the water sector; (ii) financial sustainability of NWSDB operations; (iii) capacity enhancement in the CMC to manage the wastewater services; (iv) private public partnerships in water supply and wastewater service provision; and (v) improved sustainability of the wastewater services. The proposed Program is consistent with the priority sector water supply and other municipal infrastructure and services, identified in the country partnership strategy . The first Tranche under multitranche financing facility (MFF) is included in the country operations business plan for Sri Lanka.
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
Current infrastructure deficiencies and deteriorating levels of service, in both water supply and wastewater management services, are emerging as serious constraints to economic development, environmental management and quality of life in Greater Colombo , and threaten to frustrate Government of Sri Lanka's (GOSL) development framework for steady economic growth and modernization of the capital city of Colombo and its environs. The proposed investment program aims to unleash the economic growth potential in Greater Colombo by improving the water and wastewater service. The investment program will involve both physical works and institutional and management enhancement.
Government Sector Strategy and Roadmap. Government strategy for water supply and wastewater respectively is to increase the pipe borne water availability from 37% to 60% and pipe borne sewerage coverage in Sri Lanka from 2.5% to 7% by 2020. To achieve this target, the Colombo city need to have 24 hours water supply with 100% connection and there will be 100% public sewer connection in Colombo city and 100% sanitation in the Greater Colombo, NWSDB will implement citywide NRW reduction, enhance operation and maintenance (O&M), to improve water supply service levels, increase water availability and reduce revenue losses to an economic level . The investment to rehabilitation and replacement of old network pipeline is essential. The program would include the implementation of the minimum water tariff in the currently free water service areas. In addition, it is in great needs to create accountability and incentives, strengthen technical, financial, and customer service management etc to improve management efficiency. Therefore, the independent autonomous utility under NWSDB will be explored. CMC will implement an investment program to expand infrastructure including sewer network and wastewater treatment plants, strengthen its capacity to improve service levels and deliver a sustainable wastewater services in Colombo city. It is necessary to introduce wastewater tariff to sustain wastewater operation in Greater Colombo. The joint CMC-NWSDB wastewater management utility will be explored. Overall, the Program will be a pilot project from both physical and non-physical aspects to the other cities in Sri Lanka.