Climate-smart Water – Restoring an ancient hydraulic system to improve water access & climate-resilience in Sri Lanka

Over 2,000 years ago, Sri Lanka, a tiny country near the southern tip of India, flourished into one of the finest hydraulic civilizations of the world. This country, at the core of the south east monsoon, has 80 percent of its territory covered by a dry zone prone to water scarcity. Its ancient kings built a sophisticated network of small tanks connected by canals to large reservoirs to collect and redistribute water, replenish soils, and balance the needs of the entire ecosystem.

Sri Lanka’s 30-year long armed conflict has had significant impacts on the population. Most aspects of life have suffered: people have been displaced, institutions disintegrated, and essential communal and public infrastructure damaged. But out of the destruction comes new opportunities.

Read the full article by Marta Baraibar, Andrea Egan and Tharuka Dissanaike on the websites of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Climate Change Adaptation.