Community watershed management and rainwater harvesting using ancient irrigation technologies and Community managed protected area conservation in Sigiriya World Heritage site


Jump to: navigation, search

Project ID

Project Title

Community watershed management and rainwater harvesting using ancient irrigation technologies and Community managed protected area conservation in Sigiriya World Heritage site


Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM)

Focus Areas

Geographic Scope

Lead Organization(s)

Project Partners



Total: $18,130;

Sources of Financing: (CWI-12)


2006 - 2008



Project website(s)





The traditional lifestyle of the local community has been altered by various colonial rulers and has caused various water scarcity problems for agriculture and domestic purposes during last few centuries. Therefore, integration of modern water using system with traditional knowledge and the practices is must for recovering the sustainable livelihood of the agricultural communities in Sri Lanka facilitating the eradication of poverty and meeting the development goals of the natural resource conservation in the country.

The main objectives of the project are:

  1. To provide guidance for formulation new community based water governing policies and protection of traditional customary rights and field testing of local government by laws addressed in the phase I of the CWI project in Matale District;
  2. To initiate a water related applied research programme and monitoring programme in the Sigiriya region .
  3. To facilitate the local community in the management of integrated water resource and ensuring long-term viablity and sustainability.
  4. To raise awareness and eduaction in water related issues, and the sustainable use of its components and teh surrounding environs.
  5. To promote equitable sharing of benefits and responsibilities in the use os water resources.
  6. Restoration of catchment area, traditional cascade system and tank ecosystems for sustainable water supply, traditional rainwater harvesting and irrigation, for agriculture and domestic use while recharging the ground water table.
  7. To raise awareness of the potential of non-timber forest product use, and nature-based agriculture.
  8. To promote and enchanting the capacity of women in water management.
  9. To promote nature-based farming techniques for minimizing the water pollution from the chemical farming.
  10. To facilitate community based implementation of concern objectives of national and International conventions.

Project activities include
  • Baseline report of area and updating of the database.
  • Community awareness and monitoring meetings
  • Promotion of traditional rain water harvesting techniques through restoration of ancient irrigation canal and cascade system.
  • Alternative livelihood development programme. integrated agricultural development programme.
  • Promotion of traditional crop species. production of water management education and awareness literature.
  • Traditional knowledge documenting on water governance and crop wild relative documenting programme.
  • Water governance and policy advocacy awareness programme.

Notable Community Participation

In the initial stages of project formation, the community have been actively involved from, with participation in the planning of the project activities, and initial implementation and assessment of environmental reqirements. Local community organizations are directly responsible for the minitoring and maintenance of the project in collaboration with CES and other associated authorities.

Capacity - Building Component

Skills enhancement of water managemnet and access to the innovative knowledge in integration of tradiotional knoeledge with modern techniques.

Emphasis on Sustainable Livelihoods

The main aim of the project is to promote the sustainable use of water resources. The project renovate the ancient ancient cascade system will be sustainable through the restoration of the ancient irrigation system and the preservation of the cathment area. Farming is enhanced by the more abundant and reliable water supply, and oppertunities will be made available through this more diverse enterprises.

Gender Focus

Both the males and famales of the communty are actively involved in the project activities. The project component of organic farming is specially focused for men and the trainings on rush and reed based small scale enterprises are designed for women.

Significant Participation of Indigenous Peoples

The sole purpose of the project is to make the indiginous people participate in the project activities.The Community Management of Protected Area Conservation (COMPAC) Method used inachieveing project targets ensures the participation of indigenous people.

Inovative Financial Mechanisms

The farmers can earn an extra income by the production of compost which they can use both i their own crop production and also they can sell the excess in th market. In addition farmers can practice exchange of goods with the other farmers through the rehabilitation of ancient system of exchange of googd for other necessities.

Project Results
  • The ancient canal dug harvests rain water in the catchment and feeds the first reservoir of the cascade and paddy cultivators can use this water for their cultivations.
  • Ten people are trained to produce rush and reed products. The products are sold locally.
  • Ten farmers have developed micro irrigation systems in their farms using solar energy( funded by Australian Natural Resource Management Project) they save up to 60% of the cost they spend on petrol for water pumping.
  • Compost producers can sell their compost to other farmers or at the local markets.

The project directly benefited 30 families and indirectly benefited 150 families around.

Expected Outcomes

Achievements: Results and Impact

Lessons for Replication



See also

  1. Water supply scheme for community in Sri Pada Area
  2. Water supply for the Boralugoda village community, Sri Lanka
  3. Uplifting the livelihood of Moragammana Village community through rain water harvesting
  4. Uplift the livelihood condition of Eppawala Grama Niladhari Division Community by providing safe drinking water by Community Development Centre, Aranayaka.
  5. Sustainable development of rural economy through mitigation of water scarcity in dry zone, Sri Lanka
  6. Rehabilitation of Delgaslanda Water Project to provide Water for the Community and restoration of other Small Water Sources in the Area by Sri Dheerananda Savings and Credit Society Organization
  7. Public Vs Private in Water Provision:Encouraging Case of Sri Lanka
  8. Provision of water through construction of small scale reservoir and a canal system in Siriyagama, Sri Lanka
  9. Marginalising the Poorest: Case of Badowita, Sri Lanka
  10. Conservation of water in home gardens through renovation small scale of ponds, Sri Lanka
  11. Community Empowerment through water and sanitation, Sri Lanka
  12. Bioremediation of selected drinking water wells in Nawakkaduwa

External Resources


3759 Rating: 2.1/5 (22 votes cast)