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Sustainability of Coastal Agriculture under Climate Change
Article

Assessment of Spatial and Temporal Trend of Groundwater Salinity in Jaffna Peninsula and Its Link to Paddy Land Abandonment

1
School of Environmental and Rural Science, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia
2
Department of Agricultural Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Jaffna, Kilinochchi 40000, Sri Lanka
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(9), 3681; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093681
Received: 8 April 2020 / Revised: 17 April 2020 / Accepted: 25 April 2020 / Published: 2 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Coastal Agriculture under Climate Change)
Salinization is an explicit global threat faced by coastal low lands. The increased seawater ingression into groundwater due to various climatic and anthropogenic factors affects functioning of ecosystems, biodiversity and the sustainability of coastal agriculture. This study was undertaken to investigate the changes in groundwater salinity in Jaffna Peninsula over a 20-year period and its relationship with paddy land abandonment. Permanently abandoned paddy areas were mapped using historical Landsat images, while groundwater salinity changes in 63 agricultural wells for the period 1999 to 2019 were analysed. The trend in salinity, including proximity to the coast, was examined. The results showed that approximately 8178 ha (43% of total paddy land) of paddy lands had been permanently abandoned while the groundwater salinity had increased by 1.6-fold over the last two decades. An increasing salinity trend with decreasing distance from the coast was observed. Presently, nearly 59% of the wells showed salinity levels that were unsuitable for crop irrigation. The results underline the need for urgent and effective management of groundwater resources in order to maintain the sustainability of the existing paddy lands and ensure availability of potable water for consumption along the coastal low land areas of Jaffna Peninsula. View Full-Text
Keywords: groundwater; salinity; coastal salinity; sustainability; Jaffna; coastal agriculture groundwater; salinity; coastal salinity; sustainability; Jaffna; coastal agriculture
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gopalakrishnan, T.; Kumar, L.; Mikunthan, T. Assessment of Spatial and Temporal Trend of Groundwater Salinity in Jaffna Peninsula and Its Link to Paddy Land Abandonment. Sustainability 2020, 12, 3681. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093681

AMA Style

Gopalakrishnan T, Kumar L, Mikunthan T. Assessment of Spatial and Temporal Trend of Groundwater Salinity in Jaffna Peninsula and Its Link to Paddy Land Abandonment. Sustainability. 2020; 12(9):3681. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093681

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gopalakrishnan, Tharani, Lalit Kumar, and Thushyanthy Mikunthan. 2020. "Assessment of Spatial and Temporal Trend of Groundwater Salinity in Jaffna Peninsula and Its Link to Paddy Land Abandonment" Sustainability 12, no. 9: 3681. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093681

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