Sri Lanka nationals: Water Supply Specialist

Asian Development Bank (ADB)


Expertise: Water Supply
Expertise Group: Engineering

Consultant Source: National
TOR Keywords:

Objective and Purpose of the Assignment

The Water Supply Specialist will be part of a project preparatory team to conduct due diligence
(technical, economic, financial, environmental, and social safeguards, institutional, and gender
assessments) for the proposed loan Water Supply Improvement Project in Sri Lanka.

The consultant will work in close collaboration with other due diligence and government consultants and
report to the ADB project officer preparing the project.


Aligned with Sri Lanka’s draft Public Investment Programme, 2021-2024, the government water sector
targets are to increase the proportion of households with access to safe drinking water to 100% (and 80%
by pipe borne water). The project will rehabilitate and expand water supply coverage and improve the
operational efficiency of services and management, to provide safe, efficient, and climate-resilient
water supply services in eight towns in the western and southern provinces in Sri Lanka. Selected
subprojects in the western province are directly correlated with non-revenue water reduction and
management, and are an expansion of the ongoing Greater Colombo Water and Wastewater Management
Improvement Investment Program. These towns are facing (i) increased high water demand due to fast
development with new and vertical settlements, (ii) unsatisfactory water services level, and (iii)
business efficiency flaws. The southern province towns (rural areas) were selected as they (i) are
located at strategically potential economic growth of urbanized centers and nearby areas (Mattala
International Airport, Hambantota covering harbor and proposed special economic zone, and tourism within
and around the coastal belt); (ii) need to address groundwater quality issues due to geological
formations having high fluoride, iron, calcite, and manganese, and probability of saline intrusion; and
(iii) need to expand the water coverage to unserved areas and new settlements, thus directly benefiting
estate communities. The project will promote (i) the efficient use of resources by NRW reduction and
district metered area (DMA) approach, (ii) the reduction of service levels discrepancies between rural
and urban areas; and (iii) climate change adaptation by promoting switching from ground water to surface
water source. The executing agency is the Ministry of Water Supply (MWS). A project management unit is
established in the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB), which is the, as the implementing
agency for the project and the lead water supply provider in the country, with 2.4 million domestic
connections. The absence of safely managed water supply has led to environmental degradation, increased
public health risks, increased vulnerability to the impacts of climate change and natural hazards, and
hampered economic growth.

Project’s proposed solutions

The project will be aligned with the following impact: sustainable and resilient water solutions
ensuring consumer satisfaction provided. The project will have the following outcome: access to
efficient, reliable, and safe water supply increased. The project has the following major outputs:

Output 1. Water supply infrastructure improved. The project will support NWSDB in enhancing service
levels (i) in Greater Colombo to meet the increasing demand, and by NRW reduction and management to ease
the ongoing GCWWMIIP, with specific focus on women-headed households; and (ii) and expanding water
supply coverage in the Southern Province, by switching from ground water to surface water sources to
address water quality issues and introducing smart metering for industrial consumers only following the
GCWWMIIP pilot. Intelligent and sustainable water supply O&M; innovative advanced sensors-based water
leak detection; direct inline pumping systems; and enhanced automated facilities for (i) water quality
monitoring (such as temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, and turbidity); (ii) online flow
controls at the DMA inlets; and (ii) pressure management, will be discussed to be incorporated in the
project. Water storage capacity will also be increased. With improved water supply, the project will
reduce women’s time poverty and lessen their drudgery in reproductive and productive space.

Output 2. Institutional capacity strengthened. The project will support NWSDB by (i) improving its PPMU;
(ii) strengthening managerial and technical capacity of its NRW cell through the development of a
practical setup, including areas of energy saving concepts and GIS based asset management principles;
(iii) transforming institutional capacity on gender and the gendered nature of water use; and (iv)
establishing an environmental and social safeguards cell. The cell will (i) ensure integrated approaches
including environmental and climate change assessments to adapt adverse climate and environmental
effects, (ii) provide knowledge and assistance on all safeguards matters during planning, implementing,
and monitoring projects and activities across NWSDB, including gender mainstreaming interventions,
social inclusion, and poverty reduction, and (iii) assist RSC preparing, implementing, and monitoring
water safety plans; and increase its knowledge in preventive maintenance, asset management, and DMA
management. In the project towns, the project will (i) increase capacity and knowledge on COVID-19
infection prevention and control and WASH+H approaches to village development officers, pre-school
teachers and utility staff, and (ii) design and implement evidence-based WASH+H behaviour change
communication campaigns, specifically targeted to the poorest and disadvantaged communities. This output
will also prepare feasibility studies, detailed designs, bid documents, safeguards assessments, and
gender analysis on water and sanitation for a future investment project.

An attached technical assistance will support achievement of output 2, through (i) capacity building to
NWSDB’s Procurement Planning and Monitoring Unit and Nonrevenue Water cells, (ii) establishment of a
dedicated environmental and social safeguards cell, (iii) trainings on interdepartmental organization,
team building, finance, auditing, human resource management, and supply chain management, (iv) knowledge
increase for improved business efficiency, such as consumer relationship, and integrated information and
communications technology at central level, (v) advancing institutional capacity on gender with in-house
master trainers on gender, skills in gender analysis and assessment, and formulation of a gender policy
and strategy, and (vi) capacity increase in District-Metered-Area and Geographic Information System –
based asset management of Regional Support Centres, and Operation and Maintenance of smart water
management systems. Manuals and guidelines will also be developed.

Scope of Work

The consultant will support ADB, and the NWSDB as follows (i) support and guide NWSDB to achieve high
project readiness (advanced procurement) as per ADB requirements, (ii) provide technical guidance to
NWSDB in developing projects and introducing innovation into project design, (iii) coordinating and
monitoring progress, and (iv) support NWSDB identifying capacity building activities and measurable
deliverables that will be performed by the capacity building technical assistance attached to the
project. Indicative geographic coverage NWSDB service areas through Sri Lanka.

Detailed Tasks and/or Expected Output

i. Technical review and analysis of proposed five water supply projects and assist NWSDB for
streamlining the process of design and subproject documentation.
ii. Guide NWSDB in preparation of feasibility studies for prioritized subprojects within the phasing
proposal and assist undertaking conceptual engineering designs, costs, and operation and
iii. Introduce innovative approaches and best practices into designs for greater efficiency and
iv. Prepare TORs for consultants as required.
v. Support preparation of the procurement plan for the project considering economy, efficiency, capacity
of government counterparts, and market conditions.
vi. Provide advanced procurement support for project readiness.
vii. Recommend necessary reforms for sustainable management of water supply system.
viii. Support NWSDB and ADB identifying capacity building activities and measurable deliverables that
will be performed by the capacity building technical assistance.
ix. Provide other relevant inputs and guidance to NWSDB as agreed with ADB.
x. Other outputs as required for ADB project processing.


The consultant will report directly to ADB project officer and work closely with ADB team and NWSDB. The
consultant is expected to perform independently and take initiatives to inform and consult with the ADB
project officer on problem areas and major constraints, and ways forward to achieve intended objectives
of the assignment.

Minimum Qualification Requirements

The consultant should preferably be an experienced civil engineer with qualifications and specialization
in water supply infrastructure development with at least 15 years of experience in designing and
implementing urban & peri-urban water supply projects, with a postgraduate degree in civil engineering.
Experience working on donor-funded projects and experience with NWSDB projects is highly preferred. Past
experiences in Sri Lanka, and/or island developing states will be an advantage.

He/She should also have the ability to work productively in a consulting team, with counterparts, and
wider project stakeholders. Knowledge on ADB strategies and operational priorities, policies and
processes are essential.

Minimum General Experience: 15 Years
Minimum Specific Experience (relevant to assignment): 15 Years




IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development