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Section I

Rehabilitation Programmes of Large Scale Irrigation Projects - An Opportunity to Alter the Farmers' Role in Irrigation Water Management

Authors:

Mahinda Panapitiya ,

Davids & M Engineering (Pvt) Ltd, LK
About Mahinda

Managing Director

Eng., MIE (SL) B.Sc (Eng), Peradeniya, M.S (Utah State University), USA, Presently

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Lalitha Padmini Senivirathne,

(LiSSP) Anuradhapura, LK
About Lalitha Padmini

District Program Manager

Eng. (Mrs.), MIE(SL), M.Sc (Trondhein- Norway)

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S. K. Hewadewa

LK
About S. K.

Irrigation Engineer - PEACE Project, Anuradhapura

Eng. AM(IESL), B.Sc (Eng), Peradeniya

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Abstract

Past experience in Sri Lanka shows that a need for a major rehabilitation of irrigation systems arises at 20 to 25 Years cycle. Usually these rehabilitation programs are implemented by borrowing funds form international donors such as World Bank, EU, JBIC etc. However in time to come, the dependency on such outside funding sources is questionable in view of the trends in lending criteria for countries such as Sri Lanka. Therefore it is very essential to plan such rehabilitation programs guarant long term self-sustainability beyond the rehabilitation phase.

 

One way to address this challenge is to introduce management tactics which would facilitate harnessing of human resources available within the farming community for the operation and maintenance of the irrigation infrastructure. If properly planned, the rehabilitation phase provide a good opportunity to initiate such a program. This paper describes a Water Management Programme (Water Quota system) which was implemented in System H of the Mahaweli Project with the objective of tapping the human resources available within the Farming Community strategically to address the challenge. This program was implemented during 1998-2003 as a parallel activity with a rehabilitation program under Mahaweli Restructuring and Rehabilitation Project (MRRP) in System H of Mahaweli Project As a result of this program water duty drops down with time after the year 2000 (Year of introducing the Water Quota System). Within 4 Years period from 2000, average water duty came down to 0.85 Meters from 1.2 Meters.

How to Cite: Panapitiya, M., Senivirathne, L.P. & Hewadewa, S.K., (2008). Rehabilitation Programmes of Large Scale Irrigation Projects - An Opportunity to Alter the Farmers' Role in Irrigation Water Management. Engineer: Journal of the Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka. 41(1), pp.17–23. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/engineer.v41i1.7080
Published on 30 Jan 2008.
Peer Reviewed

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