47381-001: Mahaweli Water Security Investment Program | Asian Development Bank

Sri Lanka: Mahaweli Water Security Investment Program

Sovereign (Public) Project | 47381-001 Status: Active

The Asian Development Bank is working with Sri Lanka to deliver surplus water from the Mahaweli river basin to the dry zone region where 70% of rural dwellers depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. The program is building or upgrading more than 260 km of canals, reservoirs and other irrigation infrastructure to deliver water to areas suffering from regular water scarcity and drought.

Project Details

Project Officer
Gore, Lance W. South Asia Department Request for information
  • Sri Lanka
  • Loan
  • Agriculture, natural resources and rural development
Project Name Mahaweli Water Security Investment Program
Project Number 47381-001
Country Sri Lanka
Project Status Active
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Loan
Source of Funding / Amount
MFF Facility Concept 0088-SRI: Mahaweli Water Security Investment Program
Ordinary capital resources US$ 262.00 million
concessional ordinary capital resources lending / Asian Development Fund US$ 191.00 million
MFF Facility Concept: Mahaweli Water Security Investment Program
European Investment Bank US$ 60.00 million
Strategic Agendas Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Knowledge solutions
Sector / Subsector

Agriculture, natural resources and rural development / Irrigation - Water-based natural resources management

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming No gender elements
Description ADB and the Government of Sri Lanka are working together to deliver surplus water from the Mahaweli river basin to its dry zone, where scarce supplies undermine agricultural output and household incomes. The Mahaweli Water Security Investment Program is helping the government complete a decades-old program that is moving water from the country s largest river to its dry zone, made up of North Central Province, Central Province, North Western Province and Eastern Province. The project is building more than 260 kilometers of new and upgraded canals, reservoirs, and other irrigation infrastructure. It is also helping to conduct studies on improving water management and delivery systems. In addition to providing more irrigation water, the project is delivering clean drinking water to over 350,000 people, resulting in improved community health in areas where chronic kidney diseases are prevalent. The long term goal of the project is to reduce poverty while boosting economic growth and food security.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy Sri Lanka has abundant water resources but they are not distributed evenly across the country. The dry zone region (including North Central Province, Central Province, North Western Province and Eastern Province) is home to nearly a third of the country s population, with 70% of rural dwellers dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. However, the zone receives less than 1,500 millimeters of rain per year, and droughts are common, which severely constrains agricultural output. Local communities have managed this water stress by building many small cascade systems of reservoirs, transfer canals, and irrigation schemes. These have been sufficient to provide supplementary irrigation for a single paddy crop each year, and limited storage for drinking water supply. In many places, communities rely on groundwater, some of which is contaminated, causing high incidences of chronic kidney disease. Lack of year-round access to water resources constrains the agricultural and commercial production of the region, suppressing social and economic development. As a result, average household incomes are around 10% lower than in other parts of the country. This situation is expected to worsen as the population grows and rainfall in the region diminishes further due to climate change.
Impact improved agricultural production and sustained economic growth in the North Central Province, Central Province, North Western Province and Eastern Province.
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome secured access to water resources for agricultural and drinking purposes in project areas
Progress Toward Outcome Activities are ongoing.
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

New and improved water conveyance and storage infrastructure constructed

Systems for improving water resources management and productivity developed

Multidisciplinary investment program management operational

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues) Activities are ongoing.
Geographical Location Dambulla, Elahera, Minipe
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects The first tranche of the investment program is categorized A for environment in accordance with ADB's Safeguard Policy Statement (2009). Individual environmental assessments have been undertaken for the three projects. Environment impact assessments for the NWPCP and UECP, each categorized A, and an initial environment examination for MLBCRP are prepared. Since the investment program is time-sliced and implementation of all three projects will begin under the first tranche, the environmental assessments cover the entire investment program. All subsequent tranches will also be categorized A for environment.
Involuntary Resettlement The first tranche of the investment program is categorized B for involuntary resettlement impacts, based on identified involuntary resettlement impacts of the separate projects: the NWPCP is category B, while the UECP and MLBCRP are both category C. The resettlement framework for the investment program guides the formulation of resettlement implementation plans for the first and subsequent tranches. A resettlement implementation plan was prepared to address the involuntary resettlement impacts of the NWPCP under the first tranche.
Indigenous Peoples The preliminary work that the mission carried out and the environmental impact assessment study of the project areas that the consultants engaged by the EA already carried out, did not identify any settlement of Indigenous Peoples communities in the project areas.
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design The main stakeholders include Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment (MMDE), the Department of Irrigation and the Mahaweli Authority of Sri Lanka in the project provinces, the farmers in the command areas who are the end users of the irrigation water and beneficiaries, and approximately 194 project affected families in the entire MFF who will need to be relocated to accommodate the new canals for water transfer. The MMDE is responsible for the project design. The project affected families will participate through consultations in the resettlement planning exercise.
During Project Implementation The primary stakeholders comprising the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, the Department of Irrigation and the Mahaweli Authority of Sri Lanka are already involved with the technical design of the project with due consideration for minimally affecting human settlements and increasing the area of the elephant habitat that the humans have encroached upon. The project affected families including the poor and the excluded, will be involved in the project design with reference to developing a resettlement framework and the resettlement planning exercise.
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services All consulting services will be carried out using ADB's Consulting Guidelines. Advance contracting will be used. Individual consultants were recruited to undertake the PPTA.
Procurement All procurement activities will be carried out using ADB's Procurement Guidelines.
Responsible ADB Officer Gore, Lance W.
Responsible ADB Department South Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture Division, SARD
Executing Agencies
Ministry of Mahaweli Development & Environment
82, Sampathpaya, Rajamalwatte Road, Battaramulla, Sri Lanka
Concept Clearance 02 Apr 2014
Fact Finding 13 Nov 2014 to 26 Nov 2014
MRM 24 Mar 2015
Approval 24 Jun 2015
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 25 Jul 2016

MFF Facility Concept 0088-SRI

Financing Plan Loan Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 621.00 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 453.00 - 0.00 0.00 %
Counterpart 108.00 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 60.00 - 0.00 0.00 %

Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.

The Public Communications Policy (PCP) recognizes that transparency and accountability are essential to development effectiveness. It establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced.

The Accountability Mechanism provides a forum where people adversely affected by ADB-assisted projects can voice and seek solutions to their problems and report alleged noncompliance of ADB's operational policies and procedures.

In preparing any country program or strategy, financing any project, or by making any designation of, or reference to, a particular territory or geographic area in this document, the Asian Development Bank does not intend to make any judgments as to the legal or other status of any territory or area.

Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

None currently available.

Related Publications

None currently available.

The Public Communications Policy (PCP) establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced in its operations to facilitate stakeholder participation in ADB's decision-making. For more information, refer to the Safeguard Policy Statement, Operations Manual F1, and Operations Manual L3.

Requests for information may also be directed to the InfoUnit.


Tender Title Type Status Posting Date Deadline
SRI: Water Resources Development Investment Program Advance Notice Archived 23 Sep 2014

Contracts Awarded

No contracts awarded for this project were found

Procurement Plan