Surface Water Quality Assessment of Kelani River


Project period- May 2018-January 2019
Funded by- The Asia Foundation

Kelani river is the fourth longest river in Sri Lanka and has the second largest watershed in Sri Lanka with around 25% of the total population living within the Kelani River basin. It is the major source of water supply in Colombo, providing about 80% of the drinking water to the capital city. However, Kelani River is also known to be the most polluted river in the country due to numerous threats it faces, including land degradation, industrial pollution, non-point source pollution and ground water pollution. Residents using Kelani River as a source of water have indicated concerns over the health risks arising from poor water quality.  Many tourist hotels in Kitulgala, located along the river bank, allegedly lack proper sanitary facilities and have been reportedly releasing sewage directly into the river over the years.

This study, funded by The Asia Foundation (TAF), is conducted with the following objectives.

  • Conduct a systematic water quality study to determine the current status of the selected stretch of the water body.
  • Identify hot spot areas of faecal pollution.
  • Identify potential pollution sources responsible for the highly polluted areas.
  • Develop a mechanism for enforcement of the law and execution.

It is expected that the results from this study will be used to expose the main polluters along the study area and that the responsible parties will take corrective measures to prevent further degradation of the river water quality.

This project is now complete.