Current climate models forewarn that Sri Lanka’s dry zone is likely to become drier due to climate change, resulting in water shortages for agriculture. A country that has twice been ranked among the top 10 countries in the climate risk index, Sri Lanka intends to revive its village tank cascade systems, a neglected but highly efficient series of ancient irrigation systems as part of its climate adaptation strategy.
A tank cascade system is a hydrologically interconnected series of tanks organized within micro-catchments in the dry zone landscape. The water released to paddy fields from one tank flows to the next, effectively sharing water from the top to the bottom and feeding many paddy lands. Each component in a cascade system adopts a specific functional purpose that can be explained in modern science even though they were designed centuries ago, according to research.