Many farmers were opposed to the construction of a salinity barrier across the Nilwala River, as they were unaware of how it would operate and feared losing their paddy lands. In 2012, the Area Water Partnership arranged discussions among the farmers, and officials from the University of Ruhuna and the Irrigation Department. The officials explained the benefits of a salinity barrier and the farmers were given the chance to voice their concerns. Following several discussions and another visit to see the site of the proposed barrier, the farmers agreed to the need for the barrier.
The construction of this barrier will prevent seawater intrusion along the river and improve freshwater supply. It will also prevent the loss of cultivable land by stopping groundwater contamination and so benefit the community.