Impact of irrigation on drinking water availability in Sri Lanka

Show simple item record Boelee, Eline Hoek, Wim van der 2015-08-10T16:51:03Z 2015-08-10T16:51:03Z 2002
dc.description Meeting: International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage : Eighteenth Congress, Montreal, Canada, 2002 en
dc.description Includes abstract in French en
dc.description.abstract In the Uda Walawe irrigation system in the dry zone of southern Sri Lanka, residents have dug shallow wells for domestic water supply next to canals. Several of these shallow wells, and nearby tube wells as well as the surface water were sampled for water quality testing. Reservoirs and canals had higher levels of bacteria and parasites than shallow wells and tube wells. Salinity and fluoride levels were highest in tube wells. Combining the four indicators, shallow wells offer the best quality for drinking water and are preferred by the population because of taste, availability, easy access and reliability. This most favorable domestic water supply turns out to be highly dependent on irrigation water management. Some wells fall dry between cropping seasons, which suggests that groundwater in the wells is recharged by seepage from irrigation canals. This is confirmed by detailed groundwater measurements and calculations. Water levels were measured in shallow wells and piezometers at varying distances from the canals, before and after lining. Groundwater levels closely followed changes in canal water releases and canal seepage accounted for 74% of groundwater recharge. After concrete lining of the canals, people in this rural area are facing increasingly restricted availability of good quality water. Consequently, the irrigation rehabilitation program is threatening the most favorable source of domestic water and with it the health of the population. This study clearly indicates the need for inter-sectoral planning and management of water resources. More efficient irrigation management does not serve the rural population if it deprives them off their best source of drinking water. en
dc.format Text en
dc.format.extent 1 digital file (14 p. : ill.) en
dc.format.mimetype Application/pdf
dc.language.iso en
dc.subject TUBE WELLS en
dc.subject WATER QUALITY en
dc.subject SALINIZATION en
dc.subject WATER MANAGEMENT en
dc.subject GROUNDWATER en
dc.subject DRINKING WATER en
dc.subject AGROECOLOGY en
dc.title Impact of irrigation on drinking water availability in Sri Lanka en
dc.title.alternative Impact de l'irrigation sur la disponibilité de l'eau potable au Sri Lanka en
dc.type Conference Paper en
idrc.project.number 100107
idrc.project.title Agro-ecosystem Management for Human Health in Uda Walawe Irrigation Scheme (Sri Lanka) en
idrc.dspace.access IDRC Only en
idrc.rims.adhocgroup IDRC SUPPORTED en

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