Thalangama Wewa and Environmental Protection Area

Thalangama Wewa
Thalangama Wewa (Sinhala: තලංගම වැව) is a man-made tank situated in the Madiwela catchment area within the Kelani Ganga River basin in Colombo District, Sri Lanka. Surrounded by densely populated human settlements of the district, it functions as an urban biodiversity refuge, an important habitat for birds, and a flood retention area (IUCN & CEA, 2006). It was declared an Environmental Protection Area (EPA) in 2007 (Radhika & Padmalal, 2017).

Located close to the Ancient Kotte Fort, the Thalangama Wewa was built during the reign of King Parakramabahu VI (1412-1467 A.D.) of Kotte for paddy cultivation (IUCN & CEA, 2006; Radhika & Padmalal, 2017).

Physical, ecological features & Climate
The tank is located in the low country wet zone, with average annual rainfall between 2,000 and 2,500 mm, derived mainly from the Southwest monsoon (IUCN & CEA, 2006). The mean annual temperature is at around 27.4 ℃ fluctuating between 23.9 –30 ℃ (IUCN & CEA, 2006).

The gross capacity of the tank is 50 Ac. ft. and the total catchment area is 33.34 sq. miles (IUCN & CEA, 2006). It consists of two spillways at different elevations enabling it to spill out water towards Parliament Lake as well as towards the direction of Kelani Ganga River. The areas between Akurugoda and Thalangama North use runoff water for paddy cultivation (IUCN & CEA, 2006). Although the tank was initially used only for irrigation, it was modified for flood mitigation in the late 90s under the "Greater Colombo flood mitigation project".

A protected site
Thalangama Tank was declared an Environmental Protection Area (EPA) on 5 March 2007 by a Government gazette notification published under the National Environmental Act, No. 47 of 1980.


1) IUCN & CEA, 2006. National Wetland Directory of Sri Lanka. IUCN Sri Lanka and the Central Environmental Authority. Colombo, Sri Lanka. ISBN: 955-8177-54-7. pp.274-278.
2) Radhika, N. M. L., and Padmalal, U. K. G. K., 2017. Environmental issues associated with the environmental protection area of Thalangama tank in the Western Province of Sri Lanka. International Research Symposium on Pure and Applied Sciences, 2017 Faculty of Science, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. p.157.
3) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka; Extraordinary. No: 1487/10. 5 March 2007.

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This page was last updated on 25 June 2023
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