Ending Water Scarcity in Sri Lanka's Dry Zone

Publication | May 2017

This brief discusses ADB's project supporting a major government water resources project in Sri Lanka to divert untapped water from the Mahaweli River.

This is the country’s largest river basin with headwaters in the southern wet zone. The northern dry zone of Sri Lanka is a largely agriculture-based area and home to about a third of Sri Lanka’s population of about 21 million. It receives rainfall in one monsoon season each year, whereas the southern zone benefits from two monsoons. 

The project will feed tanks and reservoirs in the northern dry zone to keep these full year-round, allowing farmers to plant two crops instead of the usual single crop. 

The project will finance about 260 kilometers of new and upgraded canals, tunnels, reservoirs, and other irrigation infrastructure by 2024.

Additional Details

  • Agriculture and natural resources
  • Water
  • Water Resource Management
  • Sri Lanka
  • 2
  • BRF178790-2


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