Iranamadu Tank

Iranamadu Tank during the dry season
Iranamadu Tank (Sinhala: ඉරණමඩු ජලාශය; Tamil: இரணைமடு குளம்) is one of the largest reservoirs in the Northern Province, Sri Lanka.

The tank is fed by the water that comes from Kanagarayan Aru (Janithra et al., 2018). Kanagarayan Aru is an 86 km long river that originates in Vavuniya District (Janithra et al., 2018). The river flows through Mullaitivu District before it ends with Kilinochchi Chundiculam Lagoon. Iranamadu Tank is the largest irrigation scheme in this river basin (Janithra et al., 2018).

The Iranamadu Tank is the first tank to be constructed new by the Irrigation Department, other than the restoration of earlier works (Arumugam, 1969). The proposal for this scheme was prepared in 1902 by H.T.S. Ward, the then Director of Irrigation and the construction of the tank commenced in 1906 (Arumugam, 1969). It was completed in 1921 and the tank was filled and spilt in November of the same year (Arumugam, 1969). Initially, the tank had a water holding capacity of 49 MCM (Million Cubic Meters) and an FSD (Full Supply Depth) of 22 ft (Janithra et al., 2018).

In 1952, the FSD of the tank was extended up to 28 ft to hold a water capacity of 88 MCM and again the FSD was raised up to 30 ft in 1956, increasing the water capacity to 101 MCM (Janithra et al., 2018). In 1977, the FSD of the tank was brought up to 34 ft resulting in the increase of water capacity to 131 MCM (Janithra et al., 2018).

Presently the tank has a water holding capacity of 148 MCM.

LTTE occupation
LTTE Iranamadu During the latter part of the Sri Lankan Civil War, a rudimentary hydropower station had been set up at Iranamadu Tank by Tamil Tigers rebels. Tamil Tigers also known as LTTE was a guerrilla organization that sought to establish an independent Tamil state, Eelam, in the northeastern part of Sri Lanka. The organization that has been designated as a terrorist organization by 32 countries including the USA, the UK, the EU, India and Sri Lanka was finally defeated by the government forces in 2009. 
1) Arumugam, S., 1969. Water resources of Ceylon: its utilisation and development. Water Resources Board. pp.25, 286.
2) Janithra, S., Pratheeba, J., Athapattu, B.C., Sampath, D.S. and Sivakumar, S.S., 2018. Investigate the post war improvements of hydraulic infrastructure in irrigation systems of Kanagarayan Aru River Basin using hydrological model. Global Scientific Journals (GSJ): Volume 6, Issue 12. pp.397-405.

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This page was last updated on 9 January 2023

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