Sustainable development and management of limited water resources has become the key issue in all global forums. Sri Lanka is endowed with a hydraulic civilization nurtured by a rich irrigation heritage. Merging this ancient wisdom and historical forms of water management with emerging new technologies will play a vital role in developing integrated approaches for sustainable and equitable water management in future. To address the growing global and regional challenges, the Department of Civil Engineering, University of Moratuwa has commenced an International/Regional M.Eng./M.Sc./PG Diploma programme in Water Resources Engineering and Management, mainly for practicing civil engineers to update their knowledge and keep abreast with recent developments in water resources management and hydraulic engineering fields. This programme is being conducted at the newly established UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Centre for South Asia Water Management (UMCSAWM), attached to the Department of Civil Engineering, under the ongoing UMCSAWM ESD_WI (Education for Sustainable Development of Water Infrastructure) program.
The Third Batch of the fulltime Master’s Degree program was completed in February 2017 with a batch of 21 participants with the full utilisation of 8 SAF scholarships. Out of the scholarships, 3 were awarded to females from Sri Lanka and Bhutan while the balance five positions were divided among Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The rest of the participants were from 08 Sri Lankan organisations practicing water resources management and planning within the country.
As in the previous years, the resource persons and associated staff worked tirelessly to ensure the high quality of lectures, training and guidance. The individual problem based projects for each subject, which is the real strength behind the success of the program has moved from strength to strength by incorporating new teaching techniques and instructions to ease the work load of students. The Master’s degree program well-designed and coordinated has a precisely balanced approach with University Grants Commission approved curricula, field visits for data collection and to gain exposure to industry practice, group work, individual assignments, projects, presentations and quizzes.
As the Program Director, I am extremely proud of the untiring work carried out by the resource persons, the performance of the students and the role played by the support staff. This postgraduate program conducted by the Department of Civil Engineering with the support of the SAF is a commendable achievement of the University of Moratuwa.
This year’s SAF Governing Council Meeting held in Sri Lanka on 18th January is a welcome event. The UMCSAWM Water Conference 2017 organised on the following day demonstrated the strength of water resources management application case studies by our students, carried out as either problem based projects (PBL) or individual water resources management research.
Each achievement of the UMCSAWM echoes the contributions by the Late Shri Madanjeet Singh and Late Honourable Lakshman Kadirgamar who were the cornerstones of the program and the UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Centre. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the past and present vice chancellors of our university, the past and present board members of the UMCSAWM, past and present members of the SAF Sri Lankan Chapter and the SAF India for all the support extended to us. Without such support and encouragement, this task would not have been fulfilled. Let me especially mention Ms. France Marquet, the Principal Trustee and the other board members for taking their time to visit the centre and spend time with our past and present students. We appreciate your kindness, consideration and we look forward to your future visits and contributions.
Professor Sohan Wijesekera
Chairman of the Centre/ Overall Programme Director