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Research Articles

Water conflicts among different water users and uses in the Hakwatuna Oya watershed in the Deduru Oya basin, Sri Lanka

Authors:

N. G. R. Saumyarathna ,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About N. G. R.
Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture
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E. R. N. Gunawardena,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About E. R. N.
Department of Agricultural Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture
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N. D. K. Dayawansa

University of Peradeniya, LK
About N. D. K.
Department of Agricultural Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture
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Abstract

Scarcity of water is the main problem of agriculture and other livelihoods of Hakwatuna Oya watershed in Deduru Oya basin which leads to conflicts among different water users and uses. With this background, a study was conducted to find water conflicts and factors leading to such conflicts among different water users and uses in Hakwatuna Oya watershed. Various field research methodologies including field surveys, focus group discussions, and interviews with farmers, officials and community leaders were used to gather information. In addition, documentary evidence, such as minutes of the monthly Project Management Committee meetings during 2012 Maha to 2014 Yala seasons were perused to study the conflicts within the irrigation command. Conflicts between head-end and tail-end farmers, farmers and officers, farmers of irrigation command area and in the catchment, farmers of irrigation command area and fisherman and farmers of irrigation command and outside of the command area were found during the study. Conflicts arise mainly due to water scarcity, and number of conflicts is comparatively higher during Yala (dry) season. Illegal water tapping is the most common reason for conflicts among farmers. Poor attitudes of farmers, weakness of existing land and water rights, non-implementation of existing law primarily due to political interference, encroachments and inadequate institutional arrangement for water resource management are found to be contributing factors to water conflicts. The socio-economic and cultural factors, such as gender and religion also play roles in existing water conflicts.
How to Cite: Saumyarathna, N.G.R., Gunawardena, E.R.N. & Dayawansa, N.D.K., (2016). Water conflicts among different water users and uses in the Hakwatuna Oya watershed in the Deduru Oya basin, Sri Lanka. Tropical Agricultural Research. 28(1), pp.38–49. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/tar.v28i1.8182
Published on 15 Dec 2016.
Peer Reviewed

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