Among the ancient irrigation practices, the Sri Lankan dry zone water management systems sustained for over 2000 years have been well documented. With the influx of communities settling around the historical urban centers, efficient water management was necessary. The invention of the Tank Cascaded system (TCS) and a network of canal systems have emerged to supply water to these centers, which lasted even at present. This paper aims at unraveling some unique functions of the Yoda Ela (YE) canal located in the northern dry zone connecting Kala Wewa (reservoir) with Tissa Wewa. After examining the aerial photographs, Google Earth Pro, and Digital Elevation Models (DEM) followed by field investigations to assess the respective environmental changes, it was evident that the water supply from a transboundary canal took place with the utmost care and in a sustainable manner. Minimal hydrochemical variations and sediment migration coupled with well-maintained irrigation and domestic water supply sustain the community living around this 87 km long canal. The Yoda Ela is one of the excellent representations exemplifying the urban-rural linkages from the total environment and global water history perspectives.


Total environment, Dry zone irrigation, Sustainability, Yoda Ela, Urban-rural.

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