The pipe born water coverage in the Kalutara District is about 32% in the year 2014.At the same time rural water coverage is 6%. Even though people have access to pipe born water, in the dry season of the year, it contains salt. As a result of this, the consumers face severe problems when using pipe born water.
This paper is based on an extensive study carried out in 2013 to examine the social impact of the salinity water intrusion on water consumers, identify the perceptions of the consumers, experts and administrators about Salt Water Intrusion. The study also shows the gap between the identified solutions and its real implementation. The water consumers clearly expressed the need of more direct government interventions to improve the quality of water.
National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWS&DB) aims at achieving 400000 pipe born household connections in water supply by year 2015. Hence, reducing the saline water problem will ensure the sustainable water supply to the consumer. This paper describe social impact of salt water and remedial measures already been adopted in order to mitigate them.METHODOLOGY
Study means creating new knowledge. Knowledge can be generated by using qualitative and quantitative methods. Qualitative methods are descriptive and inferential in character and focus on the kind of evidence (what people tell us, what they do) that will enable us to understand the meaning of what is going on. This Study launched in Kethhena using qualitative methods. Kethhena is in Tebuwana in Dodamgoda DS division.
The field investigation places are located of downstream of Kalu River, while they are located in Dodamgoda DS Division. Palathota to the West, Koholana to the North and Kongoda to the East are located in the downstream of Kalu River.Water Consumers and sand miners were interviewed and group discussions were held in places.
The case study method was used to understand the issues, causes, effects of Salt Water Intrusion (SWI) at Kethhena. Primary date collection tools were in-depth interviews with experts and administrators.
The sample for the study consists of six experts in water sector those who have experience in water sector for 10-20 years. Three immense administrators at district level were also in the study sample. Five Group discussions were held with water consumers, Group also represented different places between upper stream and downstream Kalu River around KethhenaRESULT AND DISCUSSIONChallenges faced by Consumers
Most of the consumers are facing severe problems with saline water in their households. As a result of saline water in last two to three decades, difficulties faced by the people are summarized as follows.
Inadequacy of fresh water for basic needs.
Unable to clean salinity water in household level.
Corrosion of household equipment and utensils.
Community dissatisfaction on Water Quality.
Distance traveled to fetch water.
PoorHealth and Hygiene.
Poor Community Living Standards and time spent to access to water.
Adverse impact on women and children.
Water consumers are facing most of the problems in the dry season of the year. They are managing day to day household activities with a lot of distress and many consumers were forced to dug wells and sought other water sources. In this period consumers were agitating for better water supply and its quality. This issue reaching to a level which threatened the sustainability of the pipe born water supply in Kaluthara district.Strategy for promoting Sustainability
At present, Regional Support Center Western - South is serving water for a population of 599,105 from 142,644 water connections in Kaluthara District. By 2030 it was planned to increase from 74,000 water connections. Accordingly, it is clear that, to serve the population, we should reduce salt water intrusion problem in Kalu River. As an initiate, In terms of this process, sector players were participated while their immense contributions were given to establish District Water Quality Surveillance Forum (DWQSF).According to the findings of the study following steps should be launched with the assistance of DWQSF.
Awareness raising among community members
Community members need to play a positive role in supporting the activities relating to catchment and water resource protection plan which need to be implemented through community participation. They must be well aware of interventions to be made under the catchment and water resource protection plans. Strong awareness campaigns are needed to conduct on catchment protection through divisional secretaries in the study area. The campaign should include not only on the importance of catchment and water resource protection but also aspects such as health risk related to personal/public hygiene, Water quality, Adequacy of water, Community knowledge of salt water intrusion.Village Level Social Institutional Setup
In association with many social institutes at village level which have developed for different purposes such as farming, death donation, credit facilitation, Devinaguma, Samurdhi program and etc should be approached. At present village level social Institutions are more concerned on village development programmes. However, traditional Sri Lanka societies had social institutions which are more concerned on water resource protection, water management and catchment preservation. Available social institutional setup can be improved by integrating catchment and water resource management on a sustainable basis with a budget line.It is necessary to get assistance from the present village level Social Institutes for water resource and catchment protection with the promotion of Grama Niladharis, Central Environmental Authority, Department of Forest who engage in the Environmental preservation programme in the village area. Events Development for Sand Miners
Attitudes of the majority of the community have not changed in the study area. One of the main factors was still they have not gained any job opportunities except sand mining. People who engage in sand mining gains a seasonal income in this trade. Immediate attention should be paid to work as a mediator with other relevant Government agencies in order to develop alternative income generation activities for them.. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
In conclusion it must be emphasized that, for initiating above steps, an implementation plan should be introduced. From the author's point of view, a lot to be done in the implementation stage covering following areas to gain its achievement.
Filed implementation of catchment management plans need to be done in different phases with the participation of relevant sector holders under the leadership of DWQSF. Whole implementation process should be planned with DWQSF. DWQSF will play a vital role in reducing damage on catchment in Kethhena of Kalu River. Contribution of DWQSF is very important in the framework of sustaining safe water Supply Service in Kaluthara District. Case study findings have already shown that a Water Safety program should initiate simultaneously to protect the catchment of Kalu River relating to Kethhena to reduce Salt Water Intrusion.