Udawalawe Reservoir

Elephants passing Udawalawe reservoir
Udawalawe Reservoir is a reservoir situated on the border of Ratnapura and Monaragala Districts, Sri Lanka. Located within the Udawalawe National Park, the reservoir has been built by constructing a long earthen embankment across the Walawe Ganga River (Arumugam, 1969; Silva & Gamlath, 2000).

The Udawalawe Scheme was carried out between 1964-1981 and under that the Udawalawe reservoir was constructed (Dahdouh-Guebas et al., 2005). The reservoir commenced operations in 1967 (Nandalal & Sakthivadivel, 2002). It was built mainly to supply water for the Walawe irrigation scheme (Nandalal & Sakthivadivel, 2002). The downstream lands located on both banks of the river are supplied with irrigation water through the right and left bank canals (Nandalal & Sakthivadivel, 2002). This water passes through two small hydro-power plants built at the Udawalawe dam (Nandalal & Sakthivadivel, 2002).

The bund of the reservoir is about 2.5 miles long and the water is extending into an area of about 8,400 acres at its full supply level (Arumugam, 1969). The reservoir has 2 sluices and the two power plants installed on each of the sluices generate 1.8 MW and 3.6 MW, totalling 5.4 MW (Arumugam, 1969).

Tree stumps at the edge of Udawalawe reservoir

1) Arumugam, S., 1969. Water resources of Ceylon: its utilisation and development. Water Resources Board. p.105.
2) Dahdouh-Guebas, F., Hettiarachchi, S., Seen, D.L., Batelaan, O., Sooriyarachchi, S., Jayatissa, L.P. and Koedam, N., 2005. Transitions in ancient inland freshwater resource management in Sri Lanka affect biota and human populations in and around coastal lagoons. Current Biology, 15(6), pp.579-586.
3) Nandalal, K.D.W. and Sakthivadivel, R., 2002. Planning and management of a complex water resource system: case of Samanalawewa and Udawalawe reservoirs in the Walawe river, Sri Lanka. Agricultural water management, 57(3), pp.207-221.
4) Silva, E.I.L. and Gamlath, G.A.R.K., 2000. Catchment characteristics and water quality of three reservoirs (Victoria, Minneriya and Udawalawe) in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka J. Aquat. Sci, 5, pp.55-73.

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This page was last updated on 4 April 2023

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