For more than a thousand years, the Authorities that have succeeded themselves on the island have wished to control the too abundant rainfalls during monsoon and insufficient water resources outside the monsoon. The result has been a water-related civilization whose best modern example is the "Mahawelli Authority of Sri Lanka" (MASL).
This institution covers 40% of the island territory: large hydraulic works, water storage, hydropower, regulation, distribution, conveyance of raw water, irrigation, collection, processing and commercialization of agricultural products, providing of fertilizers, seeds and phytosanitary products, schools, recreational facilities and even cemeteries were built and are managed in a centralized manner.
Under the impulse of the World Bank, a huge program started for transforming the Authority: new distribution of tasks, subcontracting of secondary tasks, decentralization of decisions and the billing of the water service will be needed on the short term, even only to enhance the work that has been carried out for so many years.
This project aimed at advising World Bank in the reform and modernization of Mahaweli Authority of Sri Lanka, through a decentralization process and creation of river basin organizations in sub-basins.
Both experts interacted with the newly created River Basin Organization staff and members on common issues that a young RBO is facing at early stage. They shared their hands-on experience on organizational and administrative matters. They also discussed the River Basin planning matters with River Basin Planning & Management unit of Mahaweli Authority of Sri Lanka (MASL).
At the end of the mission, they submitted their findings and suggestions in the form of a comprehensive report which was very well evaluated and used by World Bank supervision mission.