Groundwater management is key in Sri Lanka

Photo credit: IWMI

Small-scale carrot farming in Jaffna (photo: cc: Johanan Ottensooser on Flickr).

Good groundwater management is key to Jaffna’s social and economic revival

Sri Lanka News

Jaffna’s wells may not provide a year-round supply of clean water, but a mix of short and long-term options could provide communities with all the clean water they need,

says Dharshani Weerasekera

President in Jaffna: Farmers in Jaffna to fetch reasonable prices to their agricultural produces - http://www.asiantribune.com/sites/asiantribune.com/files/images/2012/Chunnakam_People_1.jpg
President in Jaffna: Farmers in Jaffna to fetch reasonable prices to their agricultural produces – http://www.asiantribune.com/sites/asiantribune.com/files/images/2012/Chunnakam_People_1.jpg

Has water replaced peace as the key to Jaffna’s progress? In the Jaffna Peninsula, in the northernmost part of Sri Lanka, the only source of fresh water for most of the year is that drawn from underground reservoirs. However, human activities are threatening these fragile and precious aquifers with contamination. Damage to this limited and irreplaceable resource would be extremely difficult or impossible to reverse. How can we ensure this does not happen?

http://g9jzk5cmc71uxhvd44wsj7zyx.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/LL-pumping-groundwater-for-irrigation-in-Jaffna.jpg
http://g9jzk5cmc71uxhvd44wsj7zyx.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/LL-pumping-groundwater-for-irrigation-in-Jaffna.jpg

The answer lies in how stakeholders address two major concerns. The first is groundwater contamination from the dumping of oil, sewage, agrochemicals and garbage into the ground. The second is the seawater intrusion of Jaffna’s limestone aquifers due to over-extraction of groundwater for domestic, agricultural and industrial purposes.

The rain falls mainly in the plain

 

Read the full article : IWMI

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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