Jun 15, Colombo: The Irrigation Ministry of Sri Lanka is to renovate ancient reservoirs in the country in order to increase their water retention capacity.
Deputy Irrigation Minister W.B. Ekanayake said there was a need to dredge and renovate the ancient reservoirs in the agricultural areas.
He made this comment in response to a query on the reason for the rapidly decreasing water levels in the reservoirs in Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Kurunegala districts resulting in the destruction of large extents of paddy lands in the area.
He said that most large reservoirs in the agricultural areas have not been renovated for many years and the volume of water retained by them has reduced as a result.
"Mud and other waste material deposited on the reservoir bed are now several feet high. These need to be cleaned in order to ensure that the water retained in the reservoirs is increased," he explained.
"The reservoirs reach spill level even when there is a slight rain and when the drought season comes, the reservoirs are empty because it holds only a small amount of water when compared to previous years," Ekanayake said.
The government therefore needs to consider it an urgent matter to renovate these reservoirs in order to solve the water issues faced by the country's agricultural sector, the Minister pointed out.