Safe water usage and water source protection in the central hilly area of Sri Lanka

Type of Change: Changes in practices and programs’ implementation 

Boundary Level: Community 

Summary/Theme: Safe water usage and water source protection in the central hilly area of Sri Lanka 

Cap-Net Lanka conducted a series of awareness programs: ‘Safe water usage and water source protection’ for leaders of water community-based organizations’ (CBOs) in the Badulla and Nuwara Eliya districts. These districts are located in the central hilly area of Sri Lanka, with great altitude and rich water sources, such as natural springs, which feed major rivers flowing around the country and provide a key supply of water for consumption and the development of economic activities including agriculture. 

Given the abundance of these springs, uncontrolled pollution, unregulated use with faulty or non-existent meters is threatening their sustainability. During Cap-Net Lanka’s program, CBO leaders learned about the economic value of water and its finite nature. After the training, five CBOs from Badulla district fixed their water meters and established a water tariff system. Furthermore, six water CBOs took actions to clean various water springs, plant trees and fix fences covering the catchment of the springs. Also, a water reuse mechanism has been established by the members of three water CBOs. Overall, CBOs have witnessed a significant reduction in monthly tariff readings while ensuring their communities’ safe water usage.