Novel water supply project for Jaffna

A new water supply project has been proposed for the Jaffna peninsula.

The project envisages making use of 20% of the annual rainfall into the Vadamarachchi Lagoon with a surface area of 78 sq km. This project approved by the Cabinet and the Northern Province Chief Minister, is implemented under the guidance of engineer A.D. S. Gunewardana, former Irrigation Ministry Secretary and retired Irrigation Director.

The Northern Development Committee, appointed by the Prime Minister, working out of the Policy Development Office, monitors implementation, a press release issued by the Policy Development Office, said yesterday.

The actual fact is the real loss of 1250mm of annual rainfall through evaporation year after year has never been taken into water balance equation by experts who engaged on this by GOSL. The Dutch and a number of British Government Agents have tried their hands at supplying water through the lagoon with little success. However, the specialists who were engaged with this matter have established one important fact. The lagoon can be leached under controlled conditions.

Lately the Israeli, American, German and Australian consultants have carried out feasibility studies to supply water to the Jaffna population.

All these attempts were unsuccessful.Now a Sri Lankan engineer, Prof. R. K. Guganeshrajah of the Surrey University has come up with the new proposal to prevent evaporation partly with a simple but brilliant engineering intervention by storing 20% of total rainfall on 78 sq km in a small tank of 10 sq km thereby reducing the surface area from which evaporation takes place. 

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