Water Information System for Sri Lanka

In order to ensure the sustainable use and efficient management of water resources, it is helpful to have information on the available water resources, how it is changing over time in quantity and quality, the present and future demand for water resources, and how climate change is impacting the overall situation of available water resources. The Water Information System for Sri Lanka aims to provide a web-based framework with access to information on water resources in Sri Lanka. The objectives of this information system are as follows:

  • Provide a clear understanding of the status and trends of the country‚Äôs water resources.
  • Provide a web-based interactive information and mapping portal for exploring data, information and maps related to water resources.
  • Produce a water resources assessment for Sri Lanka at various scales (river basin, administrative boundary, etc.)

The information in the web portal has been organized to address the following information needs:

  • Understanding the physical setting of a water resources system: The information in this instance includes the administrative setup, topography, land cover, river network, soils and urban centers.
  • Water availability: The quantity of available water resources is measured by precipitation, surface runoff, and ground water recharge and storage capacity of the system.
  • Water demand and use: The driving forces that would lead to an increase in water demand are population growth, urbanization, industrialization, increase in food demand and changing consumption patterns. Water used by different sectors has an impact on the quantity and quality of available water resources.
  • Water quality: The quality of water has an impact on the availability of usable water for various purposes. Assessment of water quality is also important to prevent water-related diseases.
  • Governance and management: This includes the planning and management that is required to increase available water resources and the measures that need to be taken to reduce the future demand for it by increasing water-use efficiency. Information on irrigation and drainage development, institutions, legislation and finances are required for these purposes.
  • Disaster and risks: Information on areas that are prone to different potential natural disasters that could take place would be useful, as this information could be used to plan ahead and organize protection and mitigation measures against any possible damage that could occur. Information on floods, droughts, landslides and tsunamis are included in this category.
  • Climate change: Climate change has long-term impacts on precipitation, temperature, rise in sea level and, thus, has an impact on the overall quantity and quality of water resources.