Water Scarcity and Managing Seasonal Water Crisis: Lessons from the Kirindi Oya Project in Sri Lanka
Research into how drought can serve as a catalyst for positive change-a move toward new and more sustainable approaches to managing water. During a long-term drought water managers and farmers are forced to change their behavior and manage water more carefully. A key element of the farmers’ strategy during a season-long drought was to recycle drainage water. To capture this water, which otherwise would have flowed out to sea, farmers created earthen bunds across drainage channels and diverted the water to their fields either by gravity or by pumping. Before the drought, farmers didn’t believe drainage water was of high enough quality for reuse. Here the drought created a change in thinking, and recycling of drainage water has continued even under normal conditions of water availability.
R. Sakthivadivel, Ronald Loeve, Upali A. Amarasinghe and Manju Hemakumara. 2001. Water Scarcity and Managing Seasonal Water Crisis: Lessons from the Kirindi Oya Project in Sri Lanka. Research Report 55, Colombo Sri Lanka, International Water Management Institute.