Raining Rights

A new draft water policy, to manage Sri Lanka’s surface and ground water, including rainwater, is waiting Mahaweli Ministry approval. A new draft water policy, to manage Sri Lanka’s surface and ground water, including rainwater, is waiting Mahaweli Ministry approval. “We have made certain amendments to the 2003 water policy. It will go for a public consultation after the Minister approves it,” said Director General of the Interim National Water Resources Authority, Neil Bandara.

The latest draft policy is now with the Minister of Mahaweli and River Basin Development, Maithripala Sirisena.

The proposed new policy leaves water ownership neutral, compared to a previous policy in 2000 that gave ownership of water to the government.

Due to massive public opposition, the 2000 policy was amended to leave water as a public good.

The latest draft says that “All water resources including rain water surface and ground water in Sri Lanka is a common resource,” meaning that water is not owned by any person, organisation or government.

The National Water Resources Authority (NWRA), now the Interim National Water Re