chapter  7
Water Policy Development in a Multi-party System of Governance
A Case Study of Sri Lanka 1
ByRajindra Ariyabandu
Pages 35

Water policy development in Sri Lanka is a classic case of natural resource management under a multi-party system of governance, where water has been used as a political tool. In 2001, the Water Resource Management Project (WRMP), primarily to strengthen the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWRA) and related organizations, and the construction of much needed infrastructure in selected river basins to improve the quality and quantity of water. The WRMP project's lifespan was from 2001-06. Changes in governments during this time seriously retarded its progress. Sri Lanka has around 50 Acts and nearly 40 institutions dealing with the subject of water. The new policy proposals recommended the establishment of three new institutions, Water Resources Council, NWRA and the Water Resources Tribunal. As a result of the lack of public information and understanding of issues of public policy, and limited experience, civil society came to play an active role in the water policy development process.