Irrigation Management Research in Sri Lanka: a Review of Selected Literature
In support of A.I.D.'s Irrigation Systems Management Project in Sri Lanka, a select literature review of key irrigation issues was conducted. The review focused on literature since 1978 (the year of Chambers' influential study of water management in Sri Lanka) and describes progress made and lessons learned and suggests research issues in four subject areas. Section I reviews the operation of five Sri Lankan irrigation systems - the Mahakanadarawa Tank of the Tank Irrigation and Modernization Project, Mahaweli System H, the Gal Oya and the Kaudulla systems, and the Inginimitiya Project. Section II reviews irrigation system organization and management with respect to policy and law, management at the agency and farmer levels, and other social issues (e.g., land control). Section III reviews experiences in irrigation systems rehabilitation and modernization under the Tank Irrigation and Modernization and the Gal Oya Projects, while Section IV addresses the past history of and current policy on mobilizing resources for irrigation operation and maintenance. The paper does not cover village irrigation or agricultural issues (although a review of crop diversification literature is appended), and it pays minimal attention to Mahaweli issues except where directly relevant to its four main subjects. The authors note that most of the literature focuses on large irrigation schemes; the subject of medium-sized systems is a major gap in Sri Lanka's irrigation management literature.