Hydro-Meteorology and Water Budget of the Mara River Basin Under Land Use Change Scenarios

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Book Chapter


Mara is a transboundary river located in Kenya and Tanzania and considered to be an important life line to the inhabitants of the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem. It is also a source of water for domestic water supply, irrigation, livestock and wildlife. The alarming increase of water demand as well as the decline in the river flow in recent years has been a major challenge for water resource managers and stakeholders. This has necessitated the knowledge of the available water resources in the basin at different times of the year. Historical rainfall, minimum and maximum stream flows were analyzed. Inter and intra-annual variability of trends in streamflow are discussed. Landsat imagery was utilized in order to analyze the land use land cover in the upper Mara River basin. The semi-distributed hydrological model, Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was used to model the basin water balance and understand the hydrologic effect of the recent land use changes from forest-to-agriculture. The results of this study provided the potential hydrological impacts of three land use change scenarios in the upper Mara River basin. It also adds to the existing literature and knowledge base with a view of promoting better land use management practices in the basin.


Book Chapter from Nile River Basin