Water Quality of Sri Lanka: A Review of 12 Water Bodies
The quality of Sri Lanka's surface waters has been adversely affected by a number of factors, including irrigation-related watershed practices, catchment land use, direct discharge of industrial wastes, and unplanned human settlement in highly urbanized areas. However, available data on the extent of water pollution in Sri Lanka are inadequate for reliably predicting the environmental impacts of future development projects. To help fill this information gap, the author of this report identified 12 water bodies that have been affected or are expected to be affected by development projects. The 12 water bodies, which represent all types of surface water (rivers and streams, lagoons and estuaries, reservoirs and tanks, coastal reefs and canals), were selected on the basis of type, characteristic aquatic life, and human association. In this review, data on the historical background of those water bodies with respect to their physical, clinical, and biological properties and the rate of denaturing due to human activities over time are compiled and critically analyzed. The 12 water bodies are: Kelani River, Kelani Estuary, Negombo Lagoon, Bolgoda Lake, Koggala Lagoon, Kotmale Reservoir, Kala Wewa and Rajangana Tank, Kandy Lake, Meda Ela, Hamilton Canal, and Hikkaduwa Marine Sanctuary.