Experimental Facilities


The field irrigation research facility which is nearing completion enables research with canals, canal structures, and irrigation methods such as sprinkler and drip irrigation. This is the first irrigation and hydraulic research facility providing the capability to use full-scale field canal-level hydraulic structures

            • for students to carry out research and

            • for the industry personnel to obtain systematic field scale training.



Field Irrigation Research Facility


This facility which is the first of its kind not only in Sri Lankan universities but also in the industry

enables research on canals, canal structures,

and irrigation methods. While filling a major gap in the research for the determination of model parameters for water

management, this facility contains equipment for research on sprinkler and drip irrigation systems.  This facility providing water research findings corresponding to Sri Lanka would further strengthen the hydraulic, irrigation, and water management in the South Asian region by enabling regional comparisons.



A Rectangular Brick Field Canal


An Earthen Trapezoidal Field Canal



Canal hydraulic research can be performed on both earthen, concrete,

and brick canals.  Also,

water research can be done on canals with different shapes.

Canal Structures


There are many types of water conveyance structures that are being constructed at the field experimental station.  Some already constructed compoents and the drawing of those which are coming up are shown.

Downstream of Trapezoidal and Rectangular Turnout Structures
 Turnout Inlets 
A Turnout Structure and a Side Canal Spillway
A Turnout Structure and a Side Canal Spillway


Sprinkler Irrigation Layouts and Drip Irrigation Layouts (Under Construction), are shown in the drawings below


Sprinkler Irrigation Layout 1


Sprinkler Irrigation Layout 2


Drip Irrigation Layout


Proposed Area for Sprinkler and Drip Irrigation Research

Urban Drainage


Poor urban drainage designs have become a huge public nuisance


Poor urban drainage designs appear as normalcy during rain



  Poor urban drainage designs have become a huge public nuisance


Urban Drainage Research facility is an initiative of the UMCSAWM to carryout field experimentation on surface and subsurface drainage with the changes to the Landover, soil type, slope and rainfall.

A major problem in our South Asian monsoon region is the poor drainage infrastructure designs associated with the roads, especially in urban areas.  With the slightest rain, most highways not only in Sri Lanka, but also in the region, become waterways thus negatively contributing to national economic growth

Surface and Subsurface Flow


Field Apparatus for Surface and Subsurface flow measurement research


Drawings of field apparatus with rain simulator


Isometric View of field apparatus with rain simulator


Soil Moisture

One of the cutting edge initiative of the UMCSAWM is the research facility for soil moisture related sustainable water resources management. This facility enables the study of irrigation frequency and as a result, the actual water requirement for irrigation. This type of water studies is important for the achievement of equity among water users thereby enabling easy and efficient integrated water resources management. Precision irrigation also enables the evaluation of overloading of the root zone with water which hints on the possibility of leaching of chemicals and fertilizers to groundwater. Hence these research are very valuable to ensure sustainable development goals.

This research initiative of UMCSAWM is on the use of IoT (Internet of Things) breakthroughs for water management.

  • This setting on “Precision Irrigation” uses several soil moisture sensors to determine the moisture in the root zone of an agricultural crop and then provide water to fulfil the requirements of the plant growth without undue loading of the environment
  • The setting utilizes cloud based, wireless, low energy consuming technologies providing the plant-water status and control of solenoid water valves through a remote personnel computer linked via internet
  • This Hybrid research facility is also intended to experiment between expensive research grade sensors and low cost freely available sensors for rain, soil moisture and water valve controls to compare the difference in water use and associated costs

Soil Columns for Soil Moisture Research
Photographs and schematic sketches of soil column setup and the arrangement of IoT instrumentation are shown.

Sprinkler arrangement for watering

Sketches of field apparatus

Sketches of field apparatus