Source "Protected Areas" :World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA), a join project of IUCN and UNEP - July 2016
The Mahaweli River Basin covers 10,000 km2, one-sixth of Sri Lanka’s land area. The river supplies water for irrigation and hydropower generation, as well as meeting the water demands of urban and industrial areas in the basin.
The Mahaweli Ganga Development Programme, the largest integrated rural development multi-purpose programme ever undertaken in Sri lanka was based on water resources of Mahaweli and allied six river basins. Main objectives were to increase agricultural production, Hydro-power generation, employment opportunities, and ,settlement of landless poor and flood control.