Malala-Ambilikala Lagoons

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Malala-Ambilikala Lagoons
මලල-ඇඹිලිකල කලපු
Map of Malala-Ambilikala lagoons with locations of major fresh water inflows.jpg
Map of Malala-Ambilikala Lagoons with locations of major fresh water inflows
Sri Lanka relief location map.jpg
Red pog.svg
Malala-Ambilikala Lagoons
මලල-ඇඹිලිකල කලපු
Location Hambantota District, Sri Lanka
Coordinates 6°10′N81°11′E / 6.167°N 81.183°E / 6.167; 81.183 Coordinates: 6°10′N81°11′E / 6.167°N 81.183°E / 6.167; 81.183
Type Lagoon
Primary inflows Malala-oya stream, Weligatta-aara stream, right bank channel of Lunugamvehera reservoir and Kirindi Oya Irrigation and Settlement Project (KOISP), surface drainage from and over flow from suburb tanks (Bandagiriya, Keligama, wewa, Julagamuwala wewa, Arabedda, Udamalala wewa, Namada wewa)
Primary outflows Indian Ocean
Catchment area 402 square kilometres (155 sq mi)
Basin  countries Sri Lanka
Surface area10.8 square kilometres (4.2 sq mi)
Average depth1 metre (3.3 ft)
Surface elevation Sea level
Settlements Hambantota

Malala-Ambilikala Lagoons (Sinhala : මලල-ඇඹිලිකල කලපු) are two interconnected coastal water-bodies located inside the Bundala National Park, Hambantota District in the Southern Province, Sri Lanka. It is 260 km (160 mi) from Colombo to the arid south. The Malala-Ambilikala Lagoons are two of the three key lagoons located within the Bundala Ramsar wetlands.

Contents

Features

The Malala-Ambilikala Lagoons system is the main lagoon system situated in one of the three Ramsar sites within Sri Lanka, the Bundala National Park. The two lagoons are interconnected by a 3.1 kilometres (1.9 mi) long, meandering incised channel called 'Ooday' (Sinhala : ඌඩේ) in Sinhalese. [1] Both the Malala and Ambilikala lagoons are shallow water bodies with average depths of 1.01 metres (3 ft 4 in) and 0.93 metres (3 ft 1 in) respectively. [2] The water surface area of the Malala and Ambilikala lagoons are 650 hectares (1,600 acres) and 430 hectares (1,100 acres) respectively. [1] While the Ambilikala lagoon is an inland freshwater lagoon with no direct outfall to the sea, the Malala (Saltern Sinhala : ලේවාය), as its name implies, is a lagoon which has a direct connection with the Indian Ocean at the Malala sea outfall (Sinhala : මෝදර). Inputs to the Ambilikala and Malala lagoons include agricultural drainage, runoff with cattle refuse, and salt water when the sand bar between the Malala Lagoon and the sea is breached. [2] Malala lagoon receives freshwater from Malala Aara, Heen Aara and Palalgawala Aara streams, surface drainage and overflow from Nadada wewa tank. [3] The main freshwater supplies of Ambilikala lagoon are streams such as Weligatta Aara, Sundiram Aara, Ethuklbokka Aara, Right Bank Channel of the Lunugamvehera Reservoir, Kirindi Oya Irrigation and Settlement Project (KOISP), and surface drainage and overflow from tanks such as Bandagiriya, Keligama wewa, Julgamuwala (Divulgama) wewa, Arabedda, Udamalala wewa. The total hydro-catchment of the lagoon system is about 402 km2 (155 sq mi). [3]

Environmental problems

The hydrological, ecological and biological condition of the Malala and Ambilikala lagoon systems started to change rapidly with irrigation, agriculture, and human settlements in the upstream area, [4] especially water quality problems affected the functioning of the lagoon ecosystem. The Kirindi Oya Irrigation Settlement Project expanded the irrigation area from 4,200 ha (10,000 acres) to 10,450 ha (25,800 acres) during the early 1990s which located upstream of the Bundala National Park. [5] The Malala and Ambilikala lagoons were severely affected by the modified drainage flows from the Kirindi Oya Irrigation Settlement Project and the Bandagiriya irrigation scheme. The estimated monthly load of total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) in to the Malala-Ambilikala lagoon system from the agricultural drainage were 6,490 kilograms (14,310 lb) and 620 kilograms (1,370 lb) respectively. [6] An extinction of species and changes to habitat diversity were also observed in the lagoon system due to water quality changes. [4] In addition to that, Increasing inflows and decreasing salinity in the lagoon water has caused severe socio-economic problems to the people who relies lagoon resources for livelihoods. A decline in shrimp ( Metapenaeus sp. and Penaeus sp.) and new fish species ( Alectis ciliaris and Etroplus suratensis ) with less commercial value were observed due to a significant decrease in salinity levels. [5]

Research

A number of studies have been carried out recently on ecohydrology and socio-hydrology of the Malala and Ambilikala lagoons.

  1. Comparative study of effect of agricultural runoff on Malala - Embilikala lagoons in Sri Lanka. [2]
  2. Irrigation Water Management and the Bundala National Park. [5]
  3. Human impact and the status of water quality in the Bundala Ramsar wetland lagoon system in Southern Sri Lanka. [6]
  4. Finding a long-lasting solution for problems created by increased flow into Malala-Embilikala Lagoon system. [3]

Related Research Articles

Yala National Park

Yala (යාල) National Park is the most visited and second largest national park in Sri Lanka, bordering the Indian Ocean. The park consists of five blocks, two of which are now open to the public, and also adjoining parks. The blocks have individual names such as, Ruhuna National Park, and Kumana National Park or 'Yala East' for the adjoining area. It is situated in the southeast region of the country, and lies in Southern Province and Uva Province. The park covers 979 square kilometres (378 sq mi) and is located about 300 kilometres (190 mi) from Colombo. Yala was designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1900, and, along with Wilpattu was one of the first two national parks in Sri Lanka, having been designated in 1938. The park is best known for its variety of wild animals. It is important for the conservation of Sri Lankan elephants, Sri Lankan leopards and aquatic birds.

Mahaweli River

The Mahaweli River, is a 335 km (208 mi) long river, ranking as the longest river in Sri Lanka. It has a drainage basin of 10,448 km2 (4,034 sq mi), the largest in the country, which covers almost one-fifth of the total area of the island. The real beginning of Mahaweli Ganga starts at Polwathura(at Mahawila area), a remote village of Nuwara-Eliya District in bank Nawalapitiya of Kandy District by further joining of Hatton Oya and Kotmale Oya. The river reaches the Bay of Bengal on the southwestern side of Trincomalee Bay. The bay includes the first of a number submarine canyons, making Trincomalee one of the finest deep-sea harbors in the world.

<i>Opuntia stricta</i>

Opuntia stricta is a large sized species of cactus that is endemic to the subtropical and tropical coastal areas of the Americas and the Caribbean. Common names include erect prickly pear and nopal estricto (Spanish). The first description as Cactus strictus was published in 1803 by Adrian Hardy Haworth. In 1812 he introduced the species in the genus Opuntia.

Kala Wewa

Kala Wewa, built by the King Datusena in 460 A.D, is a twin reservoir complex which has a capacity of 123 million cubic meters. This reservoir complex has facilitated with a stone made spillway and three main sluices. From the central major sluice, a 40 feet wide central conveys water to feed thousands of acres of paddy lands and ends at the historical capital Anuradhapura city tank Tissa Wewa meandering over 87 km (54 mi) at a slope of 6 inches per mile and is another wonder of primeval hydraulic engineering facility in ancient Ceylon.

Kelani River

The Kelani River is a 145-kilometre-long (90 mi) river in Sri Lanka. Ranking as the fourth-longest river in the country, it stretches from the Sri Pada Mountain Range to Colombo. It flows through or borders the Sri Lankan districts of Nuwara Eliya, Ratnapura, Kegalle, Gampaha and Colombo. The Kelani River also flows through the capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo, and provides 80% of its drinking water.

Akkaraipattu Town in Sri Lanka

Akkaraipattu is a large town in the Ampara District, Eastern Province of Sri Lanka, it is located in the south-eastern of the, Sri Lankan dry zone and experiences an average annual rainfall of 119 mm.

Sri Lankan irrigation network

The irrigation works in ancient Sri Lanka, the earliest dating from about 300 BCE, in the reign of King Pandukabhaya and under continuous development for the next thousand years, were some of the most complex irrigation systems of the ancient world. In addition to constructing underground canals, the Sinhalese were among the first to build completely artificial reservoirs to store water. The system was extensively restored and further extended during the reign of King Parākramabāhu.

Bundala National Park

Bundala National Park is an internationally important wintering ground for migratory water birds in Sri Lanka. Bundala harbors 197 species of birds, the highlight being the greater flamingo, which migrate in large flocks. Bundala was designated a wildlife sanctuary in 1969 and redesignated to a national park on 4 January 1993. In 1991 Bundala became the first wetland to be declared as a Ramsar site in Sri Lanka. In 2005 the national park was designated as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO, the fourth biosphere reserve in Sri Lanka. The national park is situated 245 kilometres (152 mi) southeast of Colombo.

Kumana National Park

Kumana National Park in Sri Lanka is renowned for its avifauna, particularly its large flocks of migratory waterfowl and wading birds. The park is 391 kilometres (243 mi) southeast of Colombo on Sri Lanka's southeastern coast. Kumana is contiguous with Yala National Park. Kumana was formerly known as Yala East National Park, but changed to its present name on 5 September 2006.

Lunugamvehera National Park

Lunugamvehera National Park in Sri Lanka was declared in 1995, with the intention of protecting the catchment area of the Lunugamvehera reservoir and wildlife of the area. The national park is an important habitat for water birds and elephants. The catchment area is vital to maintain the water levels of the five tanks in the down stream of Kirindi Oya and wetland characteristics of Bundala National Park. This national park also serves as a corridor for elephants to migrate between Yala National Park and Udawalawe National Park. The national park is situated 261 km (162 mi) southwest from Colombo. After being closed because of the Sri Lankan civil war, the national park is now open to the general public.

Lahugala Kitulana National Park

Lahugala Kitulana National Park is one of the smallest national parks in Sri Lanka. Despite its land area, the park is an important habitat for Sri Lankan elephant and endemic birds of Sri Lanka. The national park contains the reservoirs of Lahugala, Kitulana and Sengamuwa and they are ultimately empties to Heda Oya river. Originally it was designated as a wildlife sanctuary on July 1 of 1966. Then the protected area was upgraded to a national park on October 31 of 1980. Lahugala Kitulana is situated 318 km east of Colombo.

Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands

The Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands are a group of two principally freshwater swamps, totalling 261 hectares, lying in the suburbs of Aspendale, Edithvale, Chelsea Heights, and Seaford in south-eastern Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Together they form the Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands Ramsar Site. With the nearby Eastern Treatment Plant, they form the Carrum Wetlands Important Bird Area.

Rajarata

Rajarata [rā dja ra tə] was one of three historical regions of the island of Sri Lanka for about 1,700 years from the 6th century BCE to the early 13th century CE. Several ancient cities, including Tambapanni, Upatissa Nuwara, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, were established as capitals within the area by successive rulers. Rajarata was under the direct administration of the King. Two other areas, Malayarata and Ruhunurata, were ruled by the king's brothers "Mapa" and "Epa". The Magha invasion in the 13th century brought about the end of the Rajarata kingdom.

The Ministry of Irrigation is the cabinet ministry of the Government of Sri Lanka responsible for:

Giants Tank

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Koggala Lagoon

Koggala Lagoon is a coastal waterbody located in Galle District, Southern Sri Lanka. It is situated near the town of Koggala and adjacent to the southern coast, about 110 km (68 mi) south of Colombo. The lagoon is embellished with eight ecologically rich small islands.

Rekawa Lagoon

Rekawa Lagoon is a coastal waterbody located in Hambantota Districtt in the Southern Province, Sri Lanka and it is located 200 km (120 mi) south of Colombo. The lagoon possesses a rich biodiversity with a variety of flora and fauna.

Attanagalu Oya

Attanagalu Oya is a river in Gampaha District, Sri Lanka.

Horowpathana National Park National park in Sri Lanka

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References

  1. 1 2 International Irrigation Management Institute (IIMI) (1995), Kirindi Oya Irrigation and Settlement Project Impact Evaluation Study, Volume I: Main Report (final) Colombo, Sri Lanka:. xxiii, 118p
  2. 1 2 3 A. B. Brinili (2011), Comparative study of effect of agricultural runoff on Malala - Embilikala lagoons in Sri Lanka, B.Sc. (Hons.)Thesis, University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka
  3. 1 2 3 Priyadarshana, T., Manatunge, T. and Wijeratne, N., 2009 Finding a long-lasting solution for problems created by increased flow into Malala-Embilikala Lagoon system. Practical Action
  4. 1 2 Central Environmental Authority (Sri Lanka)/Euroconsult (The Netherlands). 1993. Bundala National Park Wetland Site Report and Conservation Management Plan. CEA, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 103 pp.
  5. 1 2 3 Matsuno Y., van der Hoek W. and Ranawake R. (eds), 1998. Irrigation Water Management and the Bundala National Park: Proceedings of the Workshop on Water Quality of the Bundala Lagoons. International Water Management Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 48 pp.
  6. 1 2 Priyankarage,S.C.,Mallawatantri,A.P.,Matsuno,Y.,andPathiranage,K.A.S.,(2004). Human impact and the status of water quality in the Bundala Ramsar wetland lagoon system in southern Sri Lanka.