Socio-hydrological implications of water management in the dry zone of Sri Lanka
Water management plays a vital role in the agricultural economy and living conditions of people in Sri Lanka. Though government and non-government organizations have been readily contributing to water management, it is still inefficient, especially in terms of water allocation, consumption and conservation. To identify factors which could be used to implement integrated water resources management (IWRM), a socio-hydrological study was performed in five areas within the dry zone in Sri Lanka. The study covers a comprehensive analysis of how the household income, demography and education level correlating to water usage, purification and disposal methods. The average household income ranges from LKR 2500 to 15 000 per month. The results show that the average daily usage for drinking, cooking, washing, toiletries and bathing are 3, 5, 10, 7, and 85 L per person, respectively. Majority of the families use dug wells and pipe-borne water as the primary source. Correlation coefficients suggest that higher household income or level of education leads to increased water consumption ( R = 0.91, 0.94). There is no linear relationship between the level of education with the good practices of water purification and disposal. Though these results indicate preliminary assessments based on the dry zone practices, efficient water management could be enhanced by strong socio-hydrological implications through educating people on conservation, usage, disposal practices and health concerns.