Jaffna Water Transfer Plan

The Jaffna Peninsula on Sri Lanka is subject to increase water stress as result of an increasing population, climate change and related over-pumping of the scare groundwater resources. To increase the availability of fresh water in the Jaffna peninsula alternative water resources are required, and may be found at the sea water Elephant Pass Lagoon, south of the peninsula. The first plans to utilize the fresh monsoon rain water running from the Elephant Pass lagoon into the sea for the benefit of the Jaffna peninsula were already developed in the 1960-ies. Recently these plans have been elaborated in more detail through the Jaffna Water Transfer Plan.

The government of Sri Lanka has requested support from the Netherlands to assess the feasibility of this water transfer plan. In January 2017 the Netherlands Government sent our a Dutch Risk Reduction (DRR) Team to assist the Government of Sri Lanka accordingly. Water Partner Mr. Sjef IJzermans was assigned by the Netherlands Government to head this mission.

The related mission report included a brief overview of current state of lagoons / region and activities planned and undertaken; a feasibility study (financial, social, environmental) of current Jaffna Water Transfer Plan as proposed by Sri Lankan Government; an assessment of the willingness of current stakeholders to consider alternatives, that may offer better opportunities for long-term sustainability, water safety and access; an identification of the key stakeholders related to Jaffna Transfer Plan – both proponents, opponents and affected; an overview of financial options (public, multilateral and private) for current plan and alternative approaches.

For more information, please contact: Sjef IJzermans