Image Database Export Citations


Collective Action for Protection of Water Rights: The Case of Thuruwila, Sri Lanka

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.author Athukorala, Kusum en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2009-07-31T14:34:16Z
dc.date.available 2009-07-31T14:34:16Z
dc.date.issued 2006 en_US
dc.date.submitted 2006-09-25 en_US
dc.date.submitted 2006-09-25 en_US
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10535/1093
dc.description.abstract "Irrigated agriculture, was the mainstay of the hydraulic society in ancient Sri Lanka. A two thousand five hundred system with its technical excellence was fittingly referred to as the 'Granary of the East'. Multifunctional water resource development systems in Sri Lanka supported human livelihoods, while fostering a strong sense of community ownership of natural resources. "The Mahavamsa, the premier historical chronicle in Sri Lanka enunciates the principle of common property resources, equity of access and state trusteeship .The development activities fostered by the State and individuals recognised the principle of coexistence between man and nature. Most ancient Sri Lankan irrigation systems, which provided the main source of livelihood for the people, were thus built for '<i>the benefit of the country ' </i>and '<i>out of compassion for all living creatures'</i>. "Intersectoral competition for water in modern times have caused traditional communities depending on irrigated rice cultivation confront stresses related to loss of traditional water rights to urban and industrial demands. To illustrate the scope of this challenge, this paper proposes to present the case study of a water transfer out of Thuruwila, a Purana (Ancient) village with a well endowed reservoir, in the Anuradhapura District in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka. More conservative in its social norms than the modern irrigated settlements nearby, the <i>Purana </i>village of Thuruwila has a close knit kin group, who maintain an ongoing tradition of agricultural rituals and festivals and derive a strong sense of identity from irrigated rice cultivation, their main source of livelihood. "Anuradhapura, the ancient capital of Sri Lanka and a venerated center of Buddhist pilgrimage, faces periodic shortages on its water resources due to heavy influxes of more than one million pilgrims during major Buddhist festivals. In an attempt to meet the increased demand the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) failing to increase the volume of extractions from existent sources, sought to tap Thuruwila, a medium sized reservoir, using financing from the ADB to supplement the Anuradhapura water supply. "The agencies involved finalized the proposed water transfer without adequate community consultations. Politicians and water professionals were the main decisionmakers in this process. When this was disclosed, opposition to the project arose due to the perceived loss of livelihood as well as loss of decision-making rights of the community over what they consider to be their water heritage. Supported by a network of environmental NGOs, Thuruwila then organized itself to mount a protest campaign and took its case to the Human Rights Commission and later, to the Supreme Court. Thuruwila was able to obtain an order upholding its right to irrigation water. This case is a significant illustration of collective action and judicial activism related to water rights in Sri Lanka. "This paper is based on work carried out as part of Regional Study of Water Transfers out of Agriculture for IFPRI." en_US
dc.subject IASC en_US
dc.subject collective action--case studies en_US
dc.subject water resources--case studies en_US
dc.subject irrigation--case studies en_US
dc.subject kinship--case studies en_US
dc.subject institutions--case studies en_US
dc.title Collective Action for Protection of Water Rights: The Case of Thuruwila, Sri Lanka en_US
dc.type Conference Paper en_US
dc.coverage.region Middle East & South Asia en_US
dc.coverage.country Sri Lanka en_US
dc.subject.sector Water Resource & Irrigation en_US
dc.subject.sector Agriculture en_US
dc.subject.sector Social Organization en_US
dc.identifier.citationmonth June en_US
dc.identifier.citationconference Survival of the Commons: Mounting Challenges and New Realities, the Eleventh Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property en_US
dc.identifier.citationconfdates June 19-23, 2006 en_US
dc.identifier.citationconfloc Bali, Indonesia en_US
dc.submitter.email elsa_jin@yahoo.com en_US

Files in this item

Files Size Format View
Athukorala_Kusum.pdf 76.66Kb PDF View/Open

This item appears in the following document type(s)

Show simple item record