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Project Executive Summary

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the main Objective of the Project ?

Regeneration of abandoned cultivable land into productive land by Transferring 15 GL  of Killinochi Irrigation Area ( KIA) water to Vadamarachi east Lagoon (VEL).

What is the plan for this 15 GL ?

This 15 GL (No conveyance losses due to by piping and concrete lined channel) will be used to keep the water level in VEL high enough ( a ground water mound) , so that the hydraulic gradient created by Sea water ( with a barrier width of about 2Km) associated with tide ( Tide level at + 0.8 m aMSL ) will pushed down the saline interface towards sea and thereby  salt water induced by capillary is minimised.

If VEL WL is above +0.0 m aMSL. Then for every 100 mm increase in WL indicates a 4 meters thick water lens floating on saline water profile. However , a young irrigation engineer Sarva’s work done on 29/11/2016 in Nilaaavarai well proportionately indicate that the usable thickness of the good  water ( as per SLS standard)  is only 2.0 meters just after rainy season.

Does this 15 GL is sufficient for arresting the whole VEL with a spread area of 30 sq. Km leaving land mass in the middle of lagoon?

Just sufficient for the 4-month evaporation loss of 500 mm from Jul , Aug, Sep, and Oct . Strategy adopted is when the water level falls below +0.4 m aMSL , this 15 GL is supplied around Jul/ Aug to top up  back to +0.90 m aMSL just 100mm above the tide level of +0.8 m aMSL. This 500 mm top up for30 is equal to 15GL. Operating band width is 500 mm. An Operation Guidelines (OG) needs to be in place with careful monitoring.

What is you plan in bringing this 15GL from Iranmadu tank to VEL in Jul/Aug ?

It is all by gravity ( no pumping at all)

Combination of pipes and existing KIA channel without any refurbishment

Just after Yala season and existing two canals with drop off facilities total > 250 ML/day is more than sufficient to supply required 15 GL in 2 months (Jul/Aug)

This indicates that to transfer of 15 GL water, there is  No requirement for diverting water from Kanagarajan Aru at causeway (Augmentation system is not required).

Potential to Top up of VEL can be done at any time when there is a slack in the system or when extra water available through Augmentation system or even with NCP water.

Our proposed system is capable to tap any spilled water  ( opportunity water) from Iranamadu tank ( 3 out of 10 years ) and capable to transfer 7.5 GL/month based on 250 ML/day through augmentation system, if and only VEL can accommodate this spill water or RfJ

Similarly, Our proposed system is capable to tap any Airspace water  ( opportunity water above 34 ft gauge level in dam or > 140 GL stored volume) from Iranamadu tank ( once in 10 years in addition to above spill water ) and capable to transfer 7.5 GL/month based on 250 ML/day through KIA Drop OFF  system, if and only VEL can accommodate this airspace water ( released due to d/s flooding avoidance) as RfJ

Also, A provisional Supplement irrigation Pump of 100 ML/day to supplement KIA lower D3 Irrigation system commanding 900 ha , whenever there is extra augmented water available more than  d/s requirement ( priority for Maha season) , this pump is kick start and supplement the 900 ha demand with an intention of reduced supply from Iranmadu water. I.e. Put back in the Iranamadu tank as a saving for future use.

Finally, a small 1GL storage at Uriyan for balancing all the needs in KIA but not for VEL, as VEL transfer is by  Bypass and nothing to do with storage.

In short , our main storage is Iranmadu tank which accommodate all the evaporation losses for a multi used system rather than individual shallow storages in several places.

Do you consider any payment for the 15 GL water , where the rights belong to KIA farmers ?

 Yes , the quantity of water shared by KIA farmers for this 18 GL will be paid at the prevailing rate (presently Rs 10,000 /acre  is the water traded rate for Maha @ 7 ML/ha) which is worked out with 20% loss allowance is approximately Rs 3000 / ML , which is equivalent to Rs 54 M paid to KIA farmers / Annum shared along 7000 farms proportionate to Gazetted ownership.

Are any other beneficiaries can be incorporated into the project , so that Rs 54 M burden can be distributed proportionally?

Yes , there are other beneficiaries who can contribute and reduce the burden Rs 54M through implementation of using the EPL regeneration project for the other 10 months other than  Jul /Aug that being idle if not used for RfJ

Do you have any plan to reduce this Rs 54 m to be paid to KIA farmers ?

Yes , the proposed Augmentation system is possibly brining about 12 GL  water during Maha and 3 ML during Yala through the system but this water is a mixture of

rainfall run off after effective rainfall use

Surface runoff through escapes

Base and interflows to drainage streams collected via percolation

Farm escape flows to streams

 This will straightaway reduce the burden of 15 GL to net 0 GL  ( if all these generated augmentation system water 12+3 = 15 GL is used within KIA boundary i.e. before EPL) and end up in paying Rs 5.4M to KIA farmers.

So, the purpose of the provisional  augmentation  pump 100 ML/day is to get the maximum use of 12 GL Maha augmentation water . 870 ha new area requires 6 GL + 1.0 GL (aqua) + 1.0 GL (stock) with a total of 8 GL leaving 4 GL for the  augmentation pump which corresponds to 100 ML/day pump with a peaking factor of 2.5 for 100 days irrigation.

Even though the Bypass facilities can deliver 7.5 GL/month during spill or air space management , VEL doesn’t hold any water more than +1.5 m aMSL with other consideration, so any resources available cannot be used unless it is for RfJ by lowering Thondamanaru barrage level.

In conclusion No money is paid to KIA farmers.

Since Water resources shared by KIA to EPL regeneration Project , where do you get the funds for implementation of project ?

Resource wise is NIL balance ( No need to pay any money to KIA farmers)

Capital Project cost is around Rs 8.7 billion

Benefits are :

6000 ha of  regenerated land under Maha in VEL

1000 ha of cash crop with a short new season of cash crop ( J/a/s) in vel using GW storage

870 ha of non-gazetted land with Maha irrigation facilities with augmented water

400 ha Crop Intensity reduction by 5% in areas in RB and outer A9 west Pooncarie side by marginal productivity increase. Water charges to be paid by the users but overall district productivity increased.

10 livestock community scheme 500 ha each raring with total 30000 goats or 3000 cattle with a carrying capacity limited to 6 goats /ha ( fodder requirement).

4 no 100 Ha pilot project for Fish / prawn /crab ponds

This benefit of considering only via agriculture development will pay off the investment less than 10Yrs at a discount of 2%. So, in conclusion is a self-funded project if a business loan arranged less than 4% present Central Bank of Srilanka business loan facility.

Why do you need such a big amount water 15 GL which can irrigate 2000 ha of paddy land during Maha season?

This 15 GL above KIA is water shared to VEL for reclaiming the peripheral  land about 12000 ha is used that are being cropped in Maha (with effective rainfall and ground water utilisation) was abandoned due to capillary salinity intrusion, associated with coastal belt aquifer saline interface moving towards shallow lagoons associated  with higher evaporation.

In addition, the major portion of this 15 GL ( leaving for evaporation)  is used to replenish the Ground water storage during Jul/Aug/Sep for just after Yala for a cash crop at least 1500 ha.

Basically , sacrificing 2000 ha and regaining about at least 50% @ 12,000 ha = 6000 + 1000 = 7000 ha. thereby increase the overall productivity level 7000 ha @ 5 tonne/ha @ Rs 50,000 / tonne = Rs 1.75 Billion /annum . A huge regeneration projects to be considered .

Furthermore , this nominal 7000 ha could be generated continuously  by the implementation of “Uttara Vasanth” – By Mahinda Rajapaksa Government on rehabilitation of Thondamanaru Barrage and Upparu Barrage gates to stainless steel and water seals provided VEL must always water throughout the year even drought year ( no drying at all ).

Do you consider any strategy for climate change which causes increase in high tide level to say +1.0 m aMSL and yield reduction due to drought which Iranmadu tank unable to provide the 18 GL as planned?

Yes , the allowed strategies to accommodate both scenarios to keep up the work done so far are intact:

Operate VEL as 2 split Lagoons

Purchase more water from Iranamadu at a higher rate / ML and keep it in the Dam

If any water available in Planned Pumped storage at Sarasalai ( ID – Prof Guganesharaja Proposal put forward by ADS Gunawardane  ( former permanent secretary , Ministry of Irrigation) may be considered as an alternative.

Lower the desired minimum operating level ( i.e. Increase the band width of operation depth)

Strict Control of extraction from the ground water usage in VEL during Maha.

NCP water will give a helping hand at a higher price when avaiable.

Will the water flow by gravity by crossing EPL at +0.0 m aMSL ?

Yes. It is all by gravity ( no pumping at all)

 A profile map is enclosed in Appendices

Augmentation starts at WL +9.2 m aMSL and finishes at +1.5 m a MSL at VEL needs only 5400 meter of pipe Xing across EPL to deliver 250 ML/day. However, we increased the pipe length to get the benefits of additional pressure by using 12.6 Km of pipe 1400 mm PE 100 pipe with an allowance of 100m loss for 4 pits along the pipeline to deliver 250 ML/day around 1.8 m aMSL WL at Mulliyan Start.

All online Xing are tabulated in Appendices as a structure list with technical details

Longitudinal Profile of the Augmentation canal is also available in the Appendices

Importantly a Geometric network is created which can accumulate any entity attached to the system for planning and decision making.

It is a technically viable solution.

How can you justify Rs 54 M /annum paid to KIA farmers is economically feasible to construct and run the project as planned ?

To justify the project , a user pay system is adopted whoever benefited from the system must be paid back the resources at the prevailing rate . That is simply in this case VEL farmer must pay back the $54 M / annum to KIA farmers. Indirectly Government of Srilanka benefited from the marginal increase in productivity by GDP increase and chain is going on even Paddy marketing board get their benefits share. Regional / district level economy is improved and increased . So, VEL farmers need not pay the full $54M . It must be shared by all beneficiaries including Government of Srilanka. In short Government may fully and fund the project for the benefits of all based on the lesson learnt from Covid 19 – Self reliance and feeding our people.

It is important to note that Augmentation system will produce an yield of 12 GL in Maha and 3 GL ( second class water) in Yala. This water is a by-product ( Bonus with added value to our project) will be used by few other user groups . So ultimately a short of 3GL based on the assumption of 12 GL yield.

Who are these beneficiaries ?

New non-Gazetted lands command able through the proposed diversion system of about 870 ha which requires additional 6 GL of water in Maha with effective rainfall use.

10 community stock projects at the end of distribution covering 500 ha each through existing Thuravu ( on Farm storage at least 1.5 m deep) filled 3 times year ( rain, Maha, Yala ends) . Total water requirement of 0.1 GL/each ( = 1.0 GL)  and  capacity sufficient to 30,000 goats or 3000 cattle in areas where soils ( solonetz) are not suitable for crop cultivation but good for salt tolerance crop as goats can handle salt grass or salt bush. A typical design with floating solar pump with poly storage and trough with 65mm HD PE pipe ring mains enclosed in appendices. 

4 community group of aquaculture farms 100 ha each requiring 1GL of fresh water for mixing with lagoon water with settling ponds and 600 mm deep fish / prawn / crab ponds. ( refer appendices for tech details and layout)

KIA farmers good intention of sharing water of at least Cropping Intensity of 0.05 which is equivalent to 400 ha to peripheral non Gazetted land under rain fed paddy- Note these farms shall be either in RB or in LB after A9 crossing ( Karadi pooku) but not in the project area

VEL farmers through Maha season at least 6000 ka from new reclaimed land ( Re Generated lands 50% 12,000ha based on  ADB – SMEC water Balance

What If Augmentation unable to provide the assumed 12 GL (NE monsoon) and 3 GL (SW monsoon) without any spill water consideration from Iranmadu Tank?

Mahaweli Consultancy Proposal carried in Feb 2017 indicates 200 sq. Km ( d/s of Iranamadu, kalmadu tans) can generate about 108.9 GL as average rainfall run off 86.0 GL in Maha and 22.9 GL in Yala. This does not include any effective use of rainfall in KIA Irrigation area or Kalmadu irrigation in their contour canal and pumping proposal. Mike 11 calibrated through 1/3/1984 – 30/11/1985 and verified ( tested) with 1/10/1986 to 31/12/1989.

Dutch consultant proposal in Dec 2018 for pumped storage option assumed 75 GL in Maha for a catchment of about 200 sq. km. Looks like This does not include any effective use of rainfall in KIA Irrigation area irrigation in their harvesting and pumping proposal.

Based on above Runoff coefficient adopted in Maha is about 30 GL / for Maha and about 11 GL/ which is about 18 GL Maha and 6 GL for Yala.

Still have questions?