18 October, 2019

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Water We Lost, May Find In The Maruthankerney (Thalaiyadi) Sea!

By K. Arulananthan

Dr. K. Arulananthan

Jaffna Peninsula’s water need by late 2020 is expected to reach 488,500 cubic meters per day (m3 /day), in which the requirement for agriculture is 400,000 m3/day. “Arumugam Plan” or “Jaffna River” or any appropriate plan could meet the agriculture requirement and be a solution to the saltwater intrusion and land degradation in the Peninsula.

The water requirement, excluding the agricultural purpose is 88,500 m3 /day, which includes drinking water. It is reported that as per the modeling studies, the available groundwater sources can supply only 13,100 m3 /day during the drought, thus additional supply must be found from outside sources. Evaporation (1800 mm) in the north far exceeds the precipitation (1200 mm) level, thus being a chronic zone of water deficiency, ground water yield is expected to decrease. However, in contrary, the local population surprisingly perceives that the peninsula is in excess of water!

Groundwater in Jaffna is highly polluted due to contamination with synthetic and natural fertilizes, pesticide, and weedicide used in intensive agriculture, sewerage and pit latrines water and seawater intrusion. Nitrate-N concentrations in the dug wells exceeds the World Health Organization recommended limit of 10 mg/l, sometime reaching upto 35 mg/l and Nitrite-N values above the maximum permissible level of 0.01 mg/l. Nitrate-N concentration increase 1-2 mg/l annually. It was also reported that water in the dug wells of the peninsula exceeded desirable level for electrical conductivity, chlorine, sodium, hardness, bicarbonate, and coliform (found in feces of warm-blooded animals), prescribed by the WHO standards.

Nitrate is potentially hazardous when present at sufficiently high levels in drinking water, a possible cause of cancer in gastrointestinal tract. A study on the geographical pathology of malignant tumors in Sri Lanka had confirmed that the incidence of cancer is relatively higher in the Jaffna District. Furthermore, incidence of water borne diseases, including typhoid is reported to be high in the Jaffna district. It may be prudent to point out here that it is suspected that the Chronic Kidney Disease ravaging at an epidemic level in Padavia , Sripura, etc. is caused by the pollution of irrigation water, which is also used as drinking water.

National Water Supply and Drainage Board of Jaffna (NWSDB) is in a desperate search for 88,500 m3 /day safe drinking water to meet the demand of Jaffna District and Pachchilaipallai and Poonakary Divisions in Kilinochchi District. It had proposed to repair and raise the bund and head-works of Iranamadu Tank and enhance its capacity of storing to abstract 50,000 m3/day. Justifiably farmers protested it, after prolonged discussion with farmer’s representative and irrigation department, it was agreed to abstract 27,000 m3 /day. The water is to be taken along the Kandy – Jaffna (A9) road via Puthuk Kadu Junction to Pallai for treatment and then beyond.

NWSDB is in need of identifying the other sources for balance 23,000 m3/day water is also well aware that during the prolonged drought and even during the dry season of the year the Iranamadu Tank may not yield its expected water of 27,000 m3/day. Thus, it proposed to put up a desalination plant with a capacity of 24,000 m3/day. After the preliminary investigation at 20 potential sites, NWSDB had narrowed down at two location; Keerimalai and Maruthenkerny. Further, based on the feasibility studies and initial environmental examination, NWSDB had identified Maruthenkerny as the most suitable site. Thus, proposed a desalination plant, at Thalaiyadi (Maruthankerney) and to lay pipeline along the 9 km Soranpattu – Thalaiyadi road to via Puthuk Kadu Junction to Pallai to connect with Iranamadu Tank’s water pipe distribution network. Thus, major part of the distribution network shall be shared for the water from Iranamadu Tank and Maruthankerney desalination plant.

NWSDB approached the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for funding and submitted the preliminary information (PI). The ADB after screening the PI requested for the mandatory Environmental Impact Assessment. ADB’s Environment and safeguard policy are very rigorous, requires the consideration of environmental issues in all aspects. Its policy is build on the believe that environmental and social sustainability are fundamental for the success of any project. NWSDB had called open bids for EIA studies; the Lanka Hydraulic Institute employed more than 20 local and international experts on different disciplines of environment, fisheries, socioeconomics, numerical modeling, etc. for the study and won the bid and in the process of conducting EIA. As per the guideline, once the EIA is finalized, the EIA should be made public to invite public comments, which shall be addressed and incorporated into the EIA.

It is part of the EIA formulation process to engage with local people and receive their concern on the project, so that it could be addressed and incorporated into the EIA. Anyway, when the EIA is finalized and let it open for public comments, the formulator of EIA has to address the public comments and incorporate them into the EIA, so addressing them at the formulation stage itself would reduce the work after it made available for public comments.

During the series of discussion with Thalaiyadi community, particularly the fishing community had raised many issues and concerns about the project. Most of them are on the impact of coastal resources, including fisheries resources, discharge of possible pollutants from desalination plant and possibility of entangling of fishing gears on the intake and discharge pipe lines. Visuals from the numerical models were used to show the possible impacts, especially dispersion of discharge waters. The Thalaiyadi community is made aware that the salinity at the discharge point is 2PSU higher than the adjacent water salinity and reaches the ambient salinity at the distance of 22 m from the discharge point. Different velocity of discharge, discharge angle and nozzle system were tested to enhance the mixing of discharge water with seawater. It is also scientifically established that fish aggregates at the water front (where the two different water masses meets), thus the discharge point would serves as a place of fish aggregation. The plant being a reverse osmosis type, there would be no chemical used in the desalination process. As per the concerns of Thalaiyadi community, it was decided lay the intake and discharge pipeline below the sea bottom to avoid entangling of fishing nets on the pipeline and agreed not to use mechanical pumping of water for intake, rather allow the water to flow through the natural gravitational force into a well on the shore and then pump to the water to the plant for desalination. Further, as per the request it was agreed that the pumping speed of water from the shore well would be maintained at 22 cm/sec, lower than the swimming speed of fish and the mouth of the intake pipe is covered with small size nets. Furthermore, it was agreed that the length of the discharge pipe line into the sea would be further reduced by 100 m and laying of pipeline would be undertaken during the northeast monsoon, during which fishermen do not venture out into the sea due to the rough sea condition.

After incorporating the concerns of the Thalaiyadi community representatives in the EIA, it was again presented to the Thalaiyadi community representatives at a meeting held at the Jaffna District Office under the Chairmanship of District Secretary in late March 2017, the Thalaiyadi Community representatives were satisfied that their concerns were adequately addressed.

Thereafter, EIA formulator wanted to engage with the wider community, including the representative from the entire Vadamarachchi East and attempted to hear their concerns, so that they could be also addressed and incorporated into the EIA. Thus, a meeting was planned again at the Jaffna District under the Chairmanship of Divisional Secretary in mid April. Mr. Sumanthiran (MP) too attended the discussion.

The intended discussion was very acrimonious from the beginning. The presenter (author) started the presentation of the environmental studies welcoming the participants, where he welcomed the participants, including the Thalaiyadi representative (though later it was found that Thalaiyadi community representatives were not at the discussion) for their presence at the discussion. A participant vigorously interrupted the presenter abruptly saying that there is no place called Thalaiyadi!. Finding no other way to continue with the presentation, the presenter repeatedly asked apology for referring Thalaiyadi at the welcoming statement and accepted that there is no place called Thalaiyadi! Still the presenter was not allowed to continue, however Mr. Sumanthiran (MP) somehow stopped the interrupter and facilitated the continuance of the presentation. Another participant angrily stated that our resources; sand and water are taken by others, but we are not getting anything on return, not realizing that the water is needed not only for others but to him too. Anyway, all accepted that infrastructure and other facilities need to made available to the local community.

Another participant, insisted on the “Arumugam Plan” instead of desalination plant, he was repeatedly told that “Arumugam Plan” could be the solution to address the water requirement for the agriculture (400,000 m3/d), further it would address land degradation and saltwater intrusion issues, not the drinking water, but not succeeded in convincing! A provincial councilor, Mr. Suhirtharan participant at the discussion complained that the design presented was different from the one which was presented a year or more ago, to be told that the EIA is not yet finalized but a working document, even based on this discussion, if necessary the design would be changed, anyway he seemed to be not convinced on the reasoning!

The other issue generally raised that desalination water is costly and cannot be affordable. The average production cost of desalination water is one US $ per cubic meter, that is about 15 cents per liter. The market price of a 400 ml water bottle is ~Rs. 55, almost same as of a equal amount of milk!. When the thermal power plant was introduced for electricity generation, the same argument (costly) is put forward against hydropower, resulting in power cuts in early 2000’s. Today, I guess only 25% is generated by hydropower and renewable energy, the balance is produced by thermal power! Anyway, it is not mandatory that every citizen in the project area should get connected to the desalination water supply. Why should we refuse the opportunity at least to the affordable to get connected to the desaline water?

Whatsoever, the discussion continued for about two hours, the presenter (most of the research team being Singhalese, the author carried out the burden of presenting it), representatives from Lanka Hydraulic Institute and NWSDB officials made various attempt to address the environmental studies and the findings. At last Mr. Sumanthiran stated that he is not convinced that the project is harmless, thus the project need to be abandon. NWSDB officials stated that the study is conducted by more than 20 experts and the findings runs into more than 1000 pages, thus to give a one full day again to discuss with the participants. Mr. Sumanthiran (MP) stated that there is no point of having another discussion, thus ended the discussion!.

Arumugam Plan was proposed at least a half a century ago, the experts had the foresight to see the impending problem, but the political leadership at the time didn’t have the vision to take it up and implement it. But now with the Ceylon Environmental Authority’s and funding agencies such as ADB’s strict guideline for EIA’s, it is not very easy to convince them and make the Arumugam Plan (which is intended to transform the whole brackish water ecosystem into freshwater ecosystem) a reality!. Wish that the current political leadership, especially the political leader, on whom all the Tamil intelligentsia had pinned down their hope and elected proudly as their representative, has the foresight and vision, so that desalination would not meet the same fate!

*Dr. K. Arulananthan – an Oceanographer serves as the Head of the National Institute of Oceanography and Marine Science at the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency  (NARA)

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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    Dr. K. Arulanantham,

    Thank you for your explanation. But i would like to know where are the reports that you have mentioned, the study on 20 sites, the feasibility studies? Were the
    People shown or even informed about this? I do not think so. Latest that I have heard is that the affected community has sent RTI requests to the agencies involved to obtain this information. where is the transparency?

    Finally, a good thing has happened. A discussion on the Maruthankerny desalination project has begun due to maybe an article on this site last week on that topic that you have felt the need to respond. The questions raised in that article are yet unanswered. Esp. Why choose an area where 90 % of the population is entirely dependent for their livelihood on fishing. I hope this discussion will continue till a final solution is reached on this issue.

    • 0
      0

      RTI Activist,

      “Latest that I have heard is that the affected community has sent RTI requests to the agencies involved to obtain this information. where is the transparency?”

      The media should also use RTI requests.

      After a quick look on line Jaffna District Secretariat appears to be the only stake holder to have appointed RTI officers (see their home page ) and ADB gives the names and contacts of two persons for more information. The Water Board and NPC have no RTI information on their home pages.

      In the near future projects of this size belong to the category of proactive disclosure. Some or all information should be made available at least 3 months before the projects start.

      As to appeals to the RTI Commission: unfortunately I have heard that they have not even acknowledged appeals in some cases.

      My conclusion: requesting information from the ADB might be the easiest and fastest way. The ADB even has mechanisms for the media and affected people to approach them.

      If I had a working internet connection I would provide links.

      • 0
        0

        Thank you Lone Wolf,

        As far as I know the affected people have sent RTI requests to the agencies involved including the Jaffna District Secretariat. Even if names of officers is not listed the Head /CEO is considered Information Officer, so the requests have been addressed to the Information Officer.

        • 0
          0

          RTI Activist,

          “Even if names of officers is not listed the Head /CEO is considered Information Officer, so the requests have been addressed to the Information Officer.”

          Sending a RTI request to the Head is what the people I know did. When there was no reply from the Head/IO they sent an appeal to the RTI Commission who also has not replied.

          • 0
            0

            RTI has become everyone’s ‘kokatath thailaya’ (a cure for everything!)
            But the under-resourced RTI Commission itself is struggling to cope with the flood of letters coming in.

            Here’s what Colombo Telegraph itself said some months ago. https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/cash-strapped-rti-commission-to-be-flooded-with-appeals-and-training-requests/

            That has become so true.

            Expecting replies in 1 week or so is unrealistic. My neighbour sent a letter on a matter of flooding of roads in Hirana due to the local authority giving permits to build to corrupt developer and his appeal was heard by the Commission and he got the information he requested. Tell the people you know to wait their turn. If needed, tell them to mail the Commission -https://www.parliament.lk/get-involved/right-to-information

            • 0
              0

              Chandra,

              “Tell the people you know to wait their turn.”

              Without a simple acknowledgment letter from the RTI Commission the obvious question is did the registered letter with the appeal reach the Commission or not.

          • 0
            0

            Please note that that RTI Commission can only hear appeals from a designated officer not directly a complaint on the Information officer. The procedure in the Act needs to be followd. The RTI commission has been constantly stressing this.

            • 0
              0

              RTI Activist,

              “Please note that that RTI Commission can only hear appeals from a designated officer not directly a complaint on the Information officer.”

              My understanding is that when the DO does not exist an appeal can be made to the Commission directly. If not there is no possibility to appeal.

              In the case I have taken up here the IO and DO had not been appointed and thus the request was sent to the Head (Secretary of a certain ministry) who never replied.

              The RTI Act and regulation assume that IOs and DOs have been appointed and that they first acknowledge and then approve or reject requests/appeals.

              The reality is that in some cases all correspondence seems to vanish in an administrative Black Hole possibly the trash bin or trash folder. Nothing new!

  • 0
    9

    this Aricle is very racist. IF some one read very carefully, we cans ee it.

    Sri lankan Navy is building Low coast Reverse Osmosis modules. Why Yapanaya can not use a desalination plant. there is something behind this.

    It looks this guy priorituy to tamilizationof the North. He did not like to work with Sinhala people. He is complaing about he is not having on his own way.

    You talk about a project not being implemented for half a century. why don’t you talk that at that time most of you were supporting LTTE war for homeland.

    • 7
      0

      jimsofty;

      Racists like you, see Racism Everywhere, their Minds are Geared that Way!

      • 4
        0

        Jimmy the monk-ey got selective perception triggered by abuse he suffered in the hands of elderly monks

  • 0
    9

    Desalinationis more economical. but, that is not happening here. they want to being water from far away. If irnamadu tank goes low what will they do ?

    This project of taking water from Irnamadu should not be allowed. It is part of building a Tamil homeland in the North. Tamils do not like to corporate with the South. they want to get and do everything on theior own while asking Political reconciliation. It is the continuation of SJVC chintanaya which is “little now, More later”.

  • 0
    7

    I can not understand what a Oceanographer is doing with Hydrology or Irrigation related issues or water requirements in Dry land. It looks you don’t know what you are talking. As you are a racist, you should not be helped.

    I say, you are just a racist [Edited out]

    • 3
      2

      Gotabhaya attempted to “beautify” Colombo by chasing poor people out so that the rich can have the walkways to themselves to walk the Swiss puppy and the baby elephant. To the best of my knowledge Gota had no idea as to landscaping/town planning. His aesthetic sense will just about match yours.

    • 5
      0

      i cannot understand what a monk-ey is doing with hyrdology or irrigation related issues or water requirements in Dry land. It looks you don’t know what you are talking. As you are a racist, you should not be helped.

  • 5
    2

    It is common sense that there should be adequate levels of water for Jaffna. As per the writer his efforts have gone down the drain on the pronouncement by MP M. A. Sumanthiran that the project is not harmless. Any reasoning for his divine statement is not known. He further rejects any further discussion. One wonders why? It is natural to suspect that the politician wants a problem created by the short supply of water and then blame the Central Government and the majority community for the debacle (crying genocide!) when there was an effort to introduce a home grown solution. Efforts of the local intelligensia to solve problems of the locality must be praised.

    • 2
      0

      It seems, Mr Sumanthiran and Mr Sugirthan, along with Mr. Vethenayagan and a host of others were in that meeting. Mr Arulananthan, Head of Oceanography at NARA, was expected to convince the people attended the community meeting that a Reverse Osmosis plant would not harm the environment. The Community members seem to have made a conclusion that they were not convinced. Mr Sumanthiran must have announced the voice of people.

      I have my views regarding desalination. But, I am not surprised with the position of the people who attended the Community Meeting.

  • 7
    0

    On a visit to Jaffna, some time ago, I was surprised that Hotels had no Information displayed in Bedrooms, about reusing Sheets and Towels, by Visitors staying more than One day.

    Hotels in the Middle East, the Hotels are careful about Water Conservation, and display Notices everywhere.

    Sheets and Towels in Jaffna Hotels were replaced everyday, using up Precious water to Wash them.

    The Attitude of Sri Lankan Visitors, seems to be, we Pay for it, so let them Replace daily, with no thought about the Environment and the Poor Residents of Jaffna.

  • 0
    0

    ”The plant being a reverse osmosis type, there would be no chemical used in the desalination process”.

    Will the author confirm the accuracy of this statement?

    Dr,Rajasingham Narendran

  • 0
    0

    Dr.Arulananthan,

    Thanks for your presentation. Further to the clarification I sought in a preceding comment. I seek clarifications on the higher power requirements of a sea water desalination plant utilizing ( semi-permeable) reverse osmosis membranes and the cost of maintaining and replacing these menbranes to optimize performance.

    Dr,RN

    • 0
      0

      Dr RN,

      Where have you been?

      “I seek clarifications on the higher power requirements of a sea water desalination plant utilizing ( semi-permeable) reverse osmosis membranes and the cost of maintaining and replacing these menbranes to optimize performance.”

      ADB presents the RO plant as an interim solution on their home page. Interim as far as I know means temporary. Is there any point in building a temporary expensive plant with a capacity that is not at all enough?

      • 0
        0

        Lone Wolf,

        Thanks. I am managing a development project in a remote village in Batticaloa, as a volunteer for about a year . During these rather interesting and strenuous months , I realized that what I was doing was more interesting and fruitful, than writing essays and comments.

        However, I could not resist the urge to comment on Dr.Arulanandams essay.

        High pressure – high power consuming- pumps are required to separate the separate the salt from the sea water. Chemicals are required to prevent ‘Fouling’ of the RO membrane in combination with ‘ Back flushing’ . Further, alkalis and acids are required to keep thr pH within acceptable range. All these

        Dr.RN

        • 1
          0

          Good to know what you are doing to provide drinking water for the unprivileged people.

          Small particles can enter the membrane pores and foul the membranes. To avoid small particles entering the pores, coagulants are added to bring particles together to create ‘pin flocs’. But the Reverse Osmosis membranes are not supposed to have ‘pores’ hence membrane fouling is not ‘theoretically’ possible. However, most of the reverse osmosis units are provided with a pre-treatment step, microfiltration or ultrafiltration, to remove micron-size particles. These membrane units require protection from membrane fouling.

          In granular media filtration (sand filter), particles and flocs are collected and de-watered, and sludge (with coagulants) is disposed in land fills or other means. But, in membrane filtration, particles are concentrated in the waste brine and are disposed in the sea. But, the coagulants are in very low contractions to be concerned about.

          Yes, appropriate chemicals are added to adjust pH. Adding hydrochloric acid or sodium hydroxide would not cause any problem to the oceann, which is an ocean of sodium and chloride.

  • 1
    0

    Thanks for this Dr. Arulananthan. Yes, there is a lot of nationalism – Sinhala and Tamil around in Sri Lanka, and Jaffna is one of the ultra Tamil nationalism centers! However,

    1. Has rain water harvesting been considered? Rain water harvesting, storage, and bottling would be the best for the drinking water problem.

    2.Desalination is very costly and should be a back up plan for drought times, but rain water harvesting should be the main source of drinking water..

    3. There is a tendency to exaggerate the numbers and the water requirements and come up with grandiose plans based on fictitious numbers – what is the current estimate of Jaffna water demands in 2020 based on.. population growth, more agriculture etc?

  • 1
    1

    Vellala Kid Abraham Sumanathiran lives in Colombo Seven.Is that right?..

    So there is no urgency for him unlike the the dudes living in Yarlpanam.

    Besides, building a Desalination Plant is costly business.

    May be Abraham wants to see the deeds for the Eelaam first ,

    And then take charge of calling Tenders with the help of his mates in Diaspora London, whom the TNA boasted are flushed with funds and have lined up with 4 Billion cold cash ( guess British Dollars) to invest in their future Motherland.

  • 1
    0

    Why not have multiple sources for drinking water?Electricity we have multiple sources.

    Single source is problematic during emergency.

    Water from Iranaimadu,desalination through reverse osmosis,rain water harvesting and of course drinking water from groundwater.

    The expenses and necessity involved in adding minerals to desalinated water also has to be considered

  • 4
    0

    Dr arulantham,

    You repeatedly claim it was agreed With the people concerned. Can you clarify who represented those people of maritjamkerni?

  • 2
    0

    Dr. Arulanandan…

    By telling Sumanthiran in your last lines that the Tamil intelligentsia voted for him you are betraying your class bias with the hopes of pitting him against those poor fishermen whose concerns he supported.

    Why after attacking him and calling him a liar everywhere in your Tamil comments and comments elsewhere are you now trying to curry favour with him. because of the protests/opposition? or because you couldn’t answer the reasoned questions that were asked?

    It is also those poor fishermen and other sons of the soil who voted for Sumanthiran, i doubt the so called Tamil intelligentsia did. Asking him not to voice the concerns of the affected people betrays a sense of superiority which does not sit well with your arguments.

  • 1
    0

    Perhaps we should explore all available options before selecting the best for Jaffna. This field is rapidly expanding and selecting a site for a particular technology in its inception state is not a smart move…

    I guess installing small scale solar-powered electrodialysis in affected villages is the best option to resolve lack of drinking water problem in Jaffna. Locals would also appreciate the help!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLPiIChFMIA

    Some test sites based on solar-powered electrodialysis technology are already working in India.

    https://tatacenter.mit.edu/water/

  • 1
    0

    Thanks for the informative article.

    The desalination project though good in paper may not work if the “percentage” malaise pervades like in the Noracholai power plant. Desalination plant may not be operational for days.

    A cheaper method is rain water harvesting. For a start all the temple tanks may be de-silted and possibly deepened. The resulting rise in water table is obviously desirable. Where is the money? Temple trustees must cut down on the ostentatious festivals.

  • 2
    0

    There was a comment saying “There is a tendency to exaggerate the numbers and the water requirements and come up with grandiose plans based on fictitious numbers – what is the current estimate of Jaffna water demands in 2020 based on.. population growth, more agriculture etc?”

    How true this comment is! So far no publication has quoted any measurement associated with the total quantity of available freshwater in the aquifers of the peninsula at the end of the rainy season or its gradual decrease during the dry season. Computer predictions of the quantity fresh water are fictitious because the inputs are more often guessed or obtained from publications which when referred to the quoted source turns out to be unreliable. Computer modelling is often referred to as “pleasurable pastime but not the real thing”.

    So, there is no basis to assume that there is shortage of fresh groundwater in the Jaffna Peninsula. But the inexperienced engineers, professionals and pseudo experts shout from the top of the roof that there is shortage of water in the peninsula. Let them quote the reference and the basis for their claim. Instead of warming their chair in the office idling and writing “bull shit”, go out into the field and do the actual measurements or read up genuine reports to prove their claim.

    It has been proved beyond any reasonable doubt (Arumugam, Wijesinghe, Balendra, Joshua and SMEC) that infiltrated rainwater forms a subsurface layer in the form of a convex lens in the limestone/sand above sea water. The lens has fresh water upper layer followed by a transition layer of increasing salinity. The quantity of fresh water is still undetermined.

    • 0
      0

      Truth seeker wants figures. Read the article and you shall find.

      Arulananthan’s figure are more reliable than the elephant population count used by GR to justify capturing wild elephant calves. The elephant population was counted from a Colombo office.

  • 1
    0

    Thank you.
    The Jaffna Peninsula should firstly think of its accessible fresh water resources.
    Arumugam proposal is an important idea.
    Water conservation by revitalizing village tanks and other rain water harvesting projects should be priority.

    • 0
      0

      SJ,

      “The Jaffna Peninsula should firstly think of its accessible fresh water resources.”

      Yes.

      Research, plan, implement. To use and protect the ground water.

      The ADB apparently believes that the population in Jaffna will sharply increase during the next years. Don’t know from where they pulled this “fact”. The ADB pages refuse to co-operate with me but you can read yourself.

      “Arumugam proposal is an important idea.”

      Yes.

      “Water conservation by revitalizing village tanks and other rain water harvesting projects should be priority.”

      Yes. The World Bank intends to help with some ponds and US Aid and India are financing small scale rain water harvesting.

    • 1
      0

      LW
      Thanks.
      Foreign funded projects cannot, however, solve such problems if the community as a whole is not involved.
      These are things in which the local authorities and the Provincial Council should take an active interest.

  • 1
    0

    ADB,

    According to the Daily News you have decided to:

    “The Jaffna and Kilinochchi Water Supply and Sanitation Project will receive US$ 100 mn as additional financing”

    https://www.dailynews.lk/2017/05/04/business/114975/adb-provide-over-us-600-mn-water-projects-upto-2019

    Is this for the reverse osmosis plant? The Iramadu project? Both?

    How can you decide without having the support of the population?

    How can you make a decision on the RO plant without having published the EIA for the general public to comment?

    Where is the 1000 page EIA on the RO plant?

    Are you sure that the SL Government can provide the funds as promised?

  • 1
    0

    Dr Arulananthan,

    “Thus, major part of the distribution network shall be shared for the water from Iranamadu Tank and Maruthankerney desalination plant.”

    Does this not mean that the pure and expensive RO water would be mixed with Iranamadu water of unknown quality and then used for watering plants, washing clothes etc?

    I assume that the sumps and water towers being built in Jaffna District despite the fact that many oppose the projects are intended for these two projects. Correct?

  • 0
    0

    Why can’t they pump the water from Maruthankerny and process it somewhere near Elephant pass salt fields or Paranthan Chemical factory and use the salt concentre water for the salt fields or Chemical factory. Iranai Madu water can be processed either of those sites instead of palai. This reduce the protests and use the outgoing water too.

  • 1
    0

    Dear Dr.K. Arulananthan,

    I am wondering, how can you compare the price of tap water from desalination plant with market price of 400 ml water bottle? Is it appropriate to compare?
    I believe that, you should compare with current water tariff of water board.
    It is just cost 2 cent per liter for average house hold(4 members house).

    Construction of desalination plant need big initial cost & high maintenance cost. Have you include those factor in your calculation?

  • 0
    1

    Dr. K. Arulananthan,

    You have mentioned that, “At last Mr. Sumanthiran stated that he is not convinced that the project is harmless, thus the project need to be abandon. NWSDB officials stated that the study is conducted by more than 20 experts and the findings runs into more than 1000 pages, thus to give a one full day again to discuss with the participants. Mr. Sumanthiran (MP) stated that there is no point of having another discussion, thus ended the discussion!”.

    Mr.Sumanthiran is just a lawyer & he doesn’t has any engineering background to understand this issue. Everyone has rights to clarify their concerns but no one has the rights to simply said “no” for public project. This is not his private project which is funded by him. This is a good example of unhealthier politics in Sri Lanka. He is targeting to achieve something else from this issue.

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