Sri Lanka state water agency suspects 15,000 ‘leaks’

Dec 07, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s state-run water supply agency has found about 15,000 suspected points where water is stolen in the island’s capital Colombo where 48 percent of the supplied water brings no revenue, an official said. About 30 percent of Sri Lanka’s Water Supply and Drainage Board is ‘non-revenue’ water but in the capital Colombo it is as high as 48 percent, chairman Karunasena Hettiarachchi said.

“One main reason for the loss in Colombo is an old pipe system dating back to the 1970s,” he told reporters.

“At the time water was given free, and there are no meters. Even now we cannot get revenue from some of these connections. The old network is about 200 kilometres.”

Hettiarachchi said under a project financed by the Asian Development Bank and the Japan International Co-operation Agency will a new distribution system is planned which is expected to cut losses down to 25 percent.

He said the agency was also probing illegal tapping of water from the distribution system and the agency is trying to tackle the problem.

“We have compared the voter lists of Colombo and water subscribers and have found about 15,000 suspected points,” Hettiarachchi said.

In 2010 the agency had earned revenues of 1