The Mahaweli River basin is the largest basin in Sri Lanka accounting for almost one fifth of the country's total area. The river flows into the Bay of Bengal. Threats to the watershed include agricultural pollution, sand mining, and water shortage that have resulted in many human-elephant conflicts.
Ravi Corea founded the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society in 1955 to establish a new paradigm for sustainable conservation in Sri Lanka. Building upon his sucess in resolving human-elephant conflicts, he is using elephant conservation as an entry point to protect the Mahaweli River watershed, an important water source for both human and elephants.