Home » Sea water purification project to commence in Jaffna

Sea water purification project to commence in Jaffna

By: Staff Writer Colombo (LNW): The National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) of Sri Lanka is set to launch a project that purifies seawater for the daily use of people in the Jaffna district. The plant will provide safe drinking water to 300,000 people belonging to 60,000 families of the city of Jaffna and its surrounding urban and rural areas. NWSDB adds that initial work of the project has begun, and will be completed early next year. A cabinet paper has also been submitted for the calling for tenders related to pipelines for the project. As soon as it is approved, tenders will be called to design, build and operate the first-ever desalination plant through sea water reverse osmosis in Jaffn With a capacity of 24,000 m3, the facility, partly financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), will be designed-built over a period of two and half years, The project  is aimed to channel approximately 27,000 cubic meters per day (m3/day) of raw water approximately 50 kilometers (km) from Iranaimadu irrigation tank in Jaffna peninsula to treat and distribute drinking water to the water scarce Jaffna and nearby towns. The farmers benefiting from the tank have raised concerns on the water adequacy in the tank to share with drinking water needs in the Jaffna peninsula. However, considering the concerns of farmers, the water abstraction rate reduced from 50,000 to 27,000 cubic meters per day. Nevertheless, some farmer organizations continued their protest against abstraction of water from Iranaimadu tank for the drinking water project. Severe drought experienced in Kilinochchi resulted in extremely low water level in the Iranaimadu tank, aggravating farmers concerns on water sharing. Considering the urgent need of water supply facilities to Jaffna Peninsula and its suburbs,a mutual agreement has been reached with ADB to carry out a Rapid Assessment on the feasibility of alternative water sources for JKWSSP mainly focusing on desalination of sea water.As a result of the rapid assessment study and their recommendations with regard to desalination, option will be suitable and changed the water source to surface water to sea water. This project is developed to construct a seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) plant to produce about 24, 000 cubic meters (m3) of fresh water per day. Considering the proposed restructuring, the project meets the eligibility criteria for additional financing. 120 Mn USD approved by Asian Development Bank for the development of water supply infrastructure facilities.

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