With high economic development activities the demand for new water supply connections has been increased by 100 present. Therefore the Government is now in the process of implementing an ambitious plan to cater to that demand, Minister of Water Supply and Drainage Dinesh Gunawardena said.
“In 2005 the access for pipe borne water or water supply connections were 900,000 and with the high economic development it has now reached 1.8 million water connections in the country,” Minister Gunawardena said at the third Round Table Conference of the Chamber of Construction Industries, held recently at Hotel Taj Samundra Colombo.
He said that several water supply connection projects are to be implemented for from 2014 to 2016 to supply 1.3 million new connections. In that scenario 450,000 connections with foreign funded projects, 425,000 local funded projects, another 275,000 SME projects and another 119,000 water supply projects will be carried out in the coming years.
The Minister said that these major projects that are implementing will be fast tracked to provide clean pipe born water for all the citizens by 2020. Therefore, the construction sector has a pivotal role to play when implementing these water supply projects in the country, he said.
Gunawardena also said that since the Government is implementing more water supply projects from mega to small scale, the Government is to take a decision to foreign funded projects to be shifted to local funded projects by deploying local contractors and professionals in the field.
Minister Gunawardena said that currently 94 water supply projects are in pipe- line, which amounts to Rs 100 billion to double the water supply to the domestic and industrial sectors in the country. He also said that many countries and organizations such as the JAICA, KOIKA and the ADB have helped with financial assistance to implement water supply projects. The government also supplied water to the North and the East. "It is said ˜water is life", so we have given life to the people in the North. The economic growth in the North was 20 percent in the post war era due to the investments of the Government in infrastructure," he said.
The Government also established community based water supply schemes. There are about 3,600 community based water supply units. About 2.7 million people have benefited from these projects.
Several water supply schemes in Sampur have been opened. The Ruhunupura Water Supply Scheme has also been commissioned. The Kilinochchi Water Supply Project would commence shortly," he said.
The quality of water is ensured by periodical testing by the National Water Supply and Drainage Board.
"Water supply has been extended to Seethawaka, Homagama, Kesbewa and Horana in Colombo. We should be mindful not to pollute water resources to assure pure drinking water. I request not to waste water," he added.