Better water supply for Colombo soon | Daily News


Better water supply for Colombo soon

The National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) launched the Colombo Water Supply Service Improvement Project under the purview of the Asian Development Bank, recently.

Thereby, Colombo would get an efficient water supply, making the service financially viable, Colombo Water Supply Project Director Engineer Abdul Razeed said.

He was speaking at a press conference at the Wellawatte Water Supply Project Office.

The Project Director said the project costs Rs.40 billion, and that the Colombo city pipe system was about 960km in length, of which approximately 60 percent would be replaced with new pipes, he added.

Colombo North, Mattakkuliya, Kotahena, Colombo Central, Dematagoda, Grandpas, Pettah, Colombo South, Kollupitiya, Bambalapitiya, and Wellawatte will benefit from the project, Razeed said.

There are about 600,000 people residing in Colombo and another 400,000 travel to the city, daily. Moreover, there are about 140,000 houses with pipe-borne water. However, the current water distribution network that supplies drinking water to consumers is over 150 years old, Razeed added.

It was not sufficient to cater to the current and future requirements of the city. People living in certain areas obtain water only for 6 to10 hours per day, and the supply is limited to off-peak hours, he said.

Approximately 3000,000 cubic meters of treated water is supplied to the city for daily use and nearly 33 percent of that volume is lost owing to leakages in the distribution system, incurring considerable losses to the NWSDB, Razeed said. This poses a serious threat to the entire water supply system and therefore, immediate and major renovation is required, he added.

Razeed said that the Ministry of City Planning, Water Supply and Drainage Board had taken immediate steps and launched the Colombo Water Supply Service Improvement Project under the purview of the government and the Asian Development Bank, to address the existing challenges through a sustainable and lasting solution.

After the completion of the project, with an uninterrupted water distribution system with improvements; the water distribution system in Colombo is expected to be at appropriate pressure as the main pipe that brings water to the city would be of a higher capacity, he said.

Razeed said the pipes were durable due to their superior quality, and added that speedy solutions would be provided to leaks and breakdowns using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology and metre readings would be on the actual consumption.

The project director appealed to the public for its cooperation.

He said short-term inconveniences such as traffic congestion near the project, diversion of road routes and temporary road closures, limited parking facilities, dust and noise generated by the project; as well as disturbances in underground power lines, telecommunication lines, and drainage water systems at certain work sites; may be caused due to the project.

“We are using human labour instead of machinery, and this will cause inconveniences and delays in some ongoing work,” he said.


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