According to the bank website, "the Mahaweli Water Security Investment Program will accelerate the economic activities of Sri Lanka's northern dry zone region by transferring surplus water from the Mahaweli river basin for irrigation, drinking and commercial purposes. It will develop bulk water conveyance and storage infrastructure planned under the North Central Province Canal Program (NCPCP), a high priority program of the government that will support completion of the Mahaweli Development Program (MDP), which started in 1973.
Key components of the MDP were completed in the 1980s, notably several irrigation systems and large dams for hydropower; however, the planned components for water transfers to the northern dry zone were not implemented largely because of the prolonged conflict. After the conflict ended in 2009, the government prioritized completion of the MDP by initiating the NCPCP. The investment program supports the government's sector objective of ensuring water availability to water users, providing water in adequate quantities with improved management, enhancing productivity and water user efficiency, and addressing the spatial variation of water availability, climate change and disaster vulnerability, as described in the Public Investment Programme 2017-2020. The outcome will be access to water resources for agricultural and drinking purposes in project areas secured.
ADB and the government signed the financing framework agreement (FFA) for the investment program on 23 April 2015. On 24 June 2015, the Board approved the provision of loans to Sri Lanka under a multitranche financing facility (MFF) of up to $453 million equivalent to be implemented between July 2015 and December 2024. The MFF comprises three tranches and uses the time-slicing approach with individual tranche outputs covering pieces of the overall facility's outputs: (i) new and improved water conveyance and storage infrastructure constructed; (ii) systems for improving water resources management productivity developed; and (iii) multidisciplinary investment program management operational. Output 1 under the investment program will implement three projects: (i) the Upper Elahera Canal Project (UECP) comprising about 101 kilometers (km) of water conveyance infrastructure linking the existing reservoirs at Kalu Ganga, Moragahakanda, Huruluwewa, Eruwewa, and Mahakanadarawa, which supply existing irrigation and town supply schemes; (ii) the North Western Province Canal Project (NWPCP) that will construct about 91 km of new and rehabilitated conveyance channels and two new reservoirs at Mahakithula and Mahakirula to transfer water from the Dambula Oya River and Wemedilla reservoir to command existing irrigation and town supply schemes; and (iii) the Minipe Left Bank Canal Rehabilitation Project (MLBCRP) that will increase storage in its head reservoir and rehabilitate about 74 km of existing canals to improve conveyance and reliability of service to existing farmers."
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
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