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Optimising usage of salinized lands in the lower part of the river basin for the coastal community in Bentota, Sri Lanka

Authors:

T. K. G. P. Ranasinghe ,

University of Moratuwa, LK
About T. K. G. P.
Department of Town and Country Planning
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R. U. K. Piyadasa

University of Colombo, LK
About R. U. K.

Department of Environmental Technology

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Abstract

Land degradation in coastal areas due to seawater intrusion and coastal salinity is one of the major critical problems affecting the sustainable development of Sri Lanka. Coastal salinity risk is increasing in the Bentota area while diminishing land productivity which results in poor food production and giving rise to several socio-economic issues for the community in the area. Bentota is below the agricultural production capacity level and no strategy has been implemented or introduced so far regarding the utilisation of degraded lands in the area. This study identified the optimised extent of salinized lands for paddy, coconut, vegetables, fruits, tea, rubber and cinnamon cultivations based on future coastal salinity effects, land use demand and the development trend of the area. Land use change, rainfall, temperature, topography, floods, soil, ground and surface water are the factors applied in evaluations of land use suitability as the prior requirement for land use optimisation. Future demands of land use were predicted applying population growth models, the theory of land carrying capacity and the ecological footprint. Strategies for optimising the productivity of salinized lands were identified using a stakeholder perception-based approach. The developed sustainable land use pattern will enhance the land productivity of highly (3.4 %), moderately (39.6 %) and slightly (57 %) salinized areas in Bentota. Identified land management strategies will facilitate the spatial planning of future land use of this area by providing guidance to the local authority in the process of allocating salinized lands for enhancing land productivity. 

How to Cite: Ranasinghe, T.K.G.P. and Piyadasa, R.U.K., 2020. Optimising usage of salinized lands in the lower part of the river basin for the coastal community in Bentota, Sri Lanka. Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka, 48(4), pp.379–396. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jnsfsr.v48i4.8814
Published on 31 Dec 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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