History of the National Water Supply & Drainage Board

The Organization had its beginning as a sub department under the Public Works Department, for Water Supply & Drainage. In 1965, it became a division under the Ministry of Local Government. From 1970, this division functioned as a separate department under the Ministry of Irrigation, Power & Highways and remained so until the present Board was established in January 1975 by an Act of Parliament.

The National Water Supply Drainage Board (NWS&DB), which presently functions under the Ministry of Urban Development, Water Supply & Drainage is the principal authority providing safe drinking water and facilitating the provision of sanitation in Sri Lanka. In accordance with the NWS&DB Act, a number of major Urban Water Supply Schemes operated by Local Authorities were taken over by the NWS&DB to provide more coverage and improved service. Consumer metering and billing commenced in 1982. Rural Water Supply & Sanitation programmes including deep well programmes are also being implemented by the NWS&DB.


During the past years, the organization has considerably expanded its scope of activities.

The NWS&DB is presently operating 324 Water Supply Schemes which cover 34% of the total population with pipe borne water supply. 10.5% of the population is served with pipe borne water supply by some Local Authorities, NGO’s and Community Based Organizations. 13% of the population is served with hand pump tube wells. We hope to increase the coverage with pipe borne water to 45.7% by 2015 so that the United Nations Millennium Development Goal of 85% safe drinking water coverage can be achieved by that year. The NWS&DB is also in charge of the sewerage system in Colombo and suburbs, Hantane, Koggala, Hikkaduwa, Kataragama and in few housing schemes.

Past Chairmans of the NWSDB



Mr. R.W.R. Premasiri

Mr. Karunasena Hettiarachchi

Col, W.M.R. Wijesundara 
Mr. L.W. Jirasinghe

Mr. N.S.K.N. De Silva

(April 2014 - Jan 2015) (May 2010 - April 2014) 
(January  2002 - 2003 January) 
 (Nov. 2001 - Jan.2002)  (Dec.1997 - Oct.2000)  
Mr. T.B. Madugalla Mr. S.B. Boyagane Mr. N.D. Peiris        
(Jan. 1986 - Sep.1997) (Nov.1981-Jan.1986) (Nov.1977-Jan.1985)       

 Past General Managers of the NWSDB


Mr.B.W.R.Balasooriya Mr.K.L.L.Premanath Mr.M.Wickramage Mr.S.Weerarathme Mr.W.A.Karunarathne
(Jul.2013 - Jul. 2016) (May.2007 - Jul.2013) (April.2003-May 2007) (Jan.2001-Mar.2003) (May.1998-May.2001)
Mr.P.M.R.Pathiraja Mr.M.Wickramage  Mr.A.P.Chandraratne Mr.G.E.Kumarage Mr.S.B.Boyagane 
Oct.1996 - May 1998) (Jan.1994 - Mar.1996)  (04.1987-06.1996) (Jan.1986-Mar.1987)  (09.1983 - 01.1985) 



 Mr.T.B.Madugalla   Mr.T.M.B.Herath  Mr.N.D.Peiris Mr.Randeniya
 (04.1978 - 01.1985)   (Sep.1977-Apr.1978) (Oct.1976 - Aug.1978) (Dec.1974 - Dec.1976)