Water levels of Anuradhapura tanks rapidly decreasing

The water levels of 13 major and 83 medium-scale tanks in Anuradhapura district are rapidly decreasing due to the prevailing drought. The major reservoirs in the district are Kalawewa, Nuwarawewa, Thisawewa, Nachchaduwa, Abayawewa, Mahakanadarawa, Mahawilachchiya, Rajangane, Angamuwa, Huruluwewa , PadaviyaWahalkada, Thuruwila and Manankattiya.

Although the water capacity as a whole in the major tanks is 556,450 a.f. the volume of water available by March 1 was 123,960 a.f. only. The total cultivation area under the major tanks is 126,242 acres, whereas only 45,000 acres have been cultivated. This limited cultivated area is also affected by the lack of water."There are 83 medium-scale tanks in Anuradhapura district under which 11,392 farmer families earn their livelihood. Although 30,000 acres are available for cultivation, only 17,666 acres have been cultivated, a spokesman of the Anuradhapura Zonal Irrigation Director's office told the Daily News.

There are 3,135 minor irrigation tanks in Anuradhapura district; there is no water available in 60% of the tanks network. Nearly 100,000 farmer families make their livelihood by cultivating with water from these tanks. In this Maha season, only 87,000 acres have been cultivated out of 140,000 acres of irrigable land, according to Anuradhapura Assistant Commissioner of Agrarian Services Development Asanka Somawansa.

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