The cost of free water

Water is free in Sri Lanka. Anyone who says different will be pilloried. I say different. I say that we will pay in lives and devastation if we do not start charging the real costs of water. Water is free in Sri Lanka. Anyone who says different will be pilloried. I say different. I say that we will pay in lives and devastation if we do not start charging the real costs of water. The lifetime of modern dams that use cement is between 50 to 100 years, depending on the quality of construction.


A man gets a drink of water from
a PVC pipe structure. File/LBO

Dam engineers agree that the dam holding back the water in the Senanayake Samudraya, our first post-independence modern reservoir (constructed in 1952), is now due for a major overhaul that will cost millions. One engineer went even further, saying that things are so bad that chunks of concrete co