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Reading: Post ‘Rathupaswala Issue’: Neighbouring community perceptions of groundwater


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Section II

Post ‘Rathupaswala Issue’: Neighbouring community perceptions of groundwater


A. U. V. B. Bulathsinhala ,

University of Moratuwa, LK
About A. U. V. B.

Lecturer (Probationary), Institute of Technology,

Eng., AMIIESL, AMASCE, MCSCE, SMICE, M. Eng (Distinction) (University of West of England, UK),

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Bhadranie Thoradeniya

University of Moratuwa, LK
About Bhadranie

Senior Lecturer, Institute of Technology,

Eng. (Dr.), AMIE(SL), M.Sc (Distinction), (IHE, Netherlands), M.Phil (OUSL), PhD (Moratuwa),

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In the recent past a huge community upheaval claiming one human life was witnessed in the Gampaha district of Sri Lanka due to the quality of drinking water obtained through groundwater. This unfortunate occurrence was based on perceived negative information on water quality by the community in the area. The incident is well published in the media as the ‘Rathupaswala Issue’. Propaganda given for such events also impact communities in the surrounding areas and could be a driving force to change community perceptions on the quality of their drinking water. In this scenario, this study was undertaken to investigate the impacts of the incident on the public perceptions in the nearby communities on their drinking water sources. The methodology of the study is based on household interviews backed by water sample tests for important parameters. The data analyses using statistical methods helped draw conclusions on the association of community perceptions with the issue, and the analyses of experimental data helped identify underlying plausible scientific reasons for such perceptions.
How to Cite: Bulathsinhala, A.U.V.B. and Thoradeniya, B., 2018. Post ‘Rathupaswala Issue’: Neighbouring community perceptions of groundwater. Engineer: Journal of the Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka, 51(4), pp.85–94. DOI:
Published on 31 Oct 2018.
Peer Reviewed


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