How Private Deep Well Excavation Influence to Environmental Sensitivity in Badulla, Sri Lanka: Special Reference to Uva-Paranagama Divisional Secretariat


  • Karunarathna G.T.A.M.D.
  • Lakmali W.M.U.



Sri Lanka is considered as a water-rich country because of its vegetation and associated springs in
the mountainous area. Uva-paragama Divisional Secretariat (DS) is located east to central highlands,
and about 95% of livelihoods depend on agriculture due to its unique physical landscape. In recent
decades, most of them used to drill private deep wells due to inadequate rainfall during the southwest monsoon from July to September to avoid the water shortage for their cultivations. The purpose
of this study is to identify, how private deep well excavation influence to the environment in UvaParanagama DS in Badulla District, Sri Lanka which is totally based on the qualitative data. Nonstructured interviews with Grama Niladaries; the people who have cultivated lands and wells around
the deep wells, and observations were used as the primary data collection methods. We gathered
secondary data from Water Resource Board, institutional data bases, and scholarly articles. Most
large scales farmers have these private deep wells that are nearly 300 feet in depth and pump water
by a turbine that pulls about 50 m of ground water completely through the deep well. Based on our
findings, the water level in wells, streams, and springs near deep wells are gradually decreasing
especially in July-September. Also, we can find out that the soil moisture and fertility are decreasing
in lower valleys near deep wells and farmers have to irrigate fields more than last year. Endemic
fauna species like Sri Lankan keelback (Fowlea asperrimus) and species like Otter (Lutra lutra) are
becoming extinct with drying up of waterways in the area. The flora species along the water sources
which need more water, show a low growth rate and the population of other flora and invasive species
like Lantana camara have increased near water sources. We assume that the private deep well
construction can cause long-term impacts to the environment with climate change. If environmental
changes continue to occur through private deep well construction it can be a server damage to
environmental resilience in a particular area. Thus, this can be concluded that the construction of
private deep wells are largely influencing to environmental sensitivity and water shortage in UvaParanagama DS.

Keywords: Deep well, Soil moisture, Ecosystems, Environmental resilience, Environmental sensitivity

Author Biographies

Karunarathna G.T.A.M.D.

Department of Environmental Management, Rajarata University, Mihintale, Sri Lanka

Lakmali W.M.U.

Department of Environmental Management, Rajarata University, Mihintale, Sri Lanka