Monsoons Failing To Make Impact
By Dinouk Colombage
The delayed monsoon has further lowered the water levels in the reservoirs around the country.
“Currently the reservoir levels around Sri Lanka are only 22 to 23 percent. The Castlereagh and Maussakele reservoirs have received rainfall intermittently over the past few weeks, but it has not been enough to make a significant impact”, Thilaka Samaratunga, Director of Irrigation and Water Resources. said.
Samaratunga added that with the low rainfall in these areas, the levels will continue to fall. “The local farmers and the power sector both rely on water from the reservoirs. As long as the rain stays away these levels will continue to fall”, she explained.
S. H. Kariyawasam, Director General of the Meteorological Department, said that the South-Western Monsoons were ongoing, and were expected to last till mid-September. “Because they had been delayed this year, we expect the rain to continue on to the end of September”, he said.
Kariyawasam added that most of the catchment areas have not received the necessary rainfall, and that was affecting the water levels.
“It is only in the South-Western regions of the country that rainfall is being experienced. Unfortunately the catchment areas outside of those regions are still struggling to maintain the high demand placed on them by the agriculture and power sectors”, he explained. He said that Colombo and the surrounding suburbs would experience rainfall over the weekend and the start of this week.
Ceylon Electricity Board Chairman, Dr. Wimaladharma Abeywickrama, said that the contribution of hydro-electricity to the main power grid has varied between 15-22% over the last two weeks.