Kelani Ganga River | Fourth Longest River in Sri Lanka

Kelani Ganga River
Kelani Ganga (Sinhala: කැළණි ගඟ; Tamil: களனி கங்கை) is considered one of the major rivers in Sri Lanka. It is the fourth-longest and the second-largest watershed in the country (Kottagoda & Abeysingha, 2017). The river is 145 km long and drains an area of 2,292 km2 (Fayas et al., 2019; Herath & Amaresekera, 2007; Kottagoda & Abeysingha, 2017; Mahagamage & Manage, 2014; Vithanage, 1988). 

Kelani Ganga River
The river originates from the central highlands near Horton Plains National Park and Peak Wilderness Sanctuary (Fayas et al., 2019). It flows through Kitulgala, Avissawella and eventually empties into the Indian Ocean near Mattakkuliya in Colombo District (Kottagoda & Abeysingha, 2017; Mahagamage & Manage, 2014). The water is mainly used for drinking water supply, recreation, irrigation and livestock, transportation, fisheries, hydro-power generation, sand extraction, and developing activities of the country (Abeysinghe & Samarakoon, 2017; Kottagoda & Abeysingha, 2017; Mahagamage & Manage, 2014).

River basin
The Kelani Ganga River basin is home to more than 25% of the Sri Lankan population (Mahagamage & Manage, 2014). It mainly extends in four administrative districts (Nuwara–Eliya, Kegalle, Gampaha, and Colombo) and three provinces (Western, Central and Sabaragamuwa) in the country (Fayas et al., 2019). Its entire catchment receives average annual precipitation of 3,718 mm and generates a surface runoff volume of about 8,600 million m3 of which nearly 65% discharges into the Indian Ocean (Herath & Amaresekera, 2007; Mahagamage & Manage, 2014).

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1) Kelani Ganga by Pol van den Scheetek is licensed under CC BY- 3.0

1) Abeysinghe, N.D.A. and Samarakoon, M.B., 2017. Analysis of variation of water quality in Kelani River, Sri Lanka. International Journal of Environment, Agriculture and Biotechnology, 2(6), p.238965.
2) Fayas, C.M., Abeysingha, N.S., Nirmanee, K.G.S., Samaratunga, D. and Mallawatantri, A., 2019. Soil loss estimation using rusle model to prioritize erosion control in Kelani river basin in Sri Lanka. International Soil and Water Conservation Research, 7(2), pp.130-137.
3) Herath, G. and Amaresekera, T., 2007. Assessment of urban and industrial pollution on water quality: Kelani River Sri Lanka. Southeast Asian Water Environment, 2(2), pp.91-98.
4) Kottagoda, S.D. and Abeysingha, N.S., 2017. Morphometric analysis of watersheds in Kelani river basin for soil and water conservation. Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka, 45(3), p.6.
5) Mahagamage, M.G.Y.L. and Manage, P.M., 2014, November. Water quality index (CCME-WQI) based assessment study of water quality in Kelani River basin, Sri Lanka. In The 1st Environment and Natural Resources International Conference (ENRIC 2014). Mahidol University, Thailand (Vol. 1). pp. 199-204.
6) Vithanage, P.W., 1988. Relief and Drainage. The National Atlas of Sri Lanka. Survey Department of Sri Lanka. ISBN: 9559059009. pp.22-23. 

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This page was last updated on 9 April 2023
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