Analysis of return flows in a tank cascade system in Sri Lanka uri icon

abstract

  • In Sri Lanka, irrigation reservoirs (tanks) are usually connected sequentially and form cascades along the landscape. A study was carried out in the Anuradhapura District in the dry zone of Sri Lanka to understand the role of return flows in such tank cascade systems. The water balance of a tank cascade system was estimated using hydrological data collected over a one-year period. The system was extended about 25 km along a river composed of three small reservoirs having the command area of 31, 55, and 55 ha, respectively. In this system, about 46% of seepage water from tanks entered the paddy fields of the command area. The crop consumed part of the water and the rest returned to the downstream tank through the drainage canals. Percolation loss in the command areas was low (3.6 mm/day) since a considerable portion of the percolation returned to the downstream tank. These results showed that return flows, which are generally disregarded in the water budget, contributed considerably to the water supply of the tank cascade system.

publication date

  • 2003
  • 2003
  • 2003