Canal irrigation techniques have existed in Sri Lanka since ancient times, and to this day, remain a popular method of irrigation in the country.
“This system involves harnessing and storing rainwater in large reservoirs. How it works now is that whatever the amount that gets collected in a reservoir every monsoon, then gets divided up and distributed to farmers in the region,” said Mohamed Aheeyar, a researcher at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI).
Under this system, farmers have to ration out the supply they are given. They do not have their own supply and are completely dependent on what is allocated to them.