SWAT Literature Database for Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Title:Watershed hydrological response to combined land use/land cover and climate change in Highland Ethiopia: Finchaa Catchment 
Authors:Dibaba, W.T., Demissie, T.A. and K. Miegel 
Volume (Issue):12(6) 
Article ID:1801 
URL (non-DOI journals): 
Broad Application Category:hydrologic only 
Primary Application Category:climate change and land use change 
Secondary Application Category:baseflow and/or other hydrologic component analysis 
Watershed Description:3,781 km^2 Finchaa River, a tributary of the upper Blue Nile River located in Oromia Regional State in east central Ethiopia. 
Calibration Summary: 
Validation Summary: 
General Comments: 
Abstract:Land use/land cover (LULC) and climate change affect the availability of water resources by altering the magnitude of surface runoff, aquifer recharge, and river flows. The evaluation helps to identify the level of water resources exposure to the changes that could help to plan for potential adaptive capacity. In this research, Cellular Automata (CA)-Markov in IDRISI software was used to predict the future LULC scenarios and the ensemble mean of four regional climate models (RCMs) in the coordinated regional climate downscaling experiment (CORDEX)-Africa was used for the future climate scenarios. Distribution mapping was used to bias correct the RCMs outputs, with respect to the observed precipitation and temperature. Then, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model was used to evaluate the watershed hydrological responses of the catchment under separate, and combined, LULC and climate change. The result shows the ensemble mean of the four RCMs reported precipitation decline and increase in future temperature under both representative concentration pathways (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5). The increases in both maximum and minimum temperatures are higher for higher emission scenarios showing that RCP8.5 projection is warmer than RCP4.5. The changes in LULC brings an increase in surface runoff and water yield and a decline in groundwater, while the projected climate change shows a decrease in surface runoff, groundwater and water yield. The combined study of LULC and climate change shows that the effect of the combined scenario is similar to that of climate change only scenario. The overall decline of annual flow is due to the decline in the seasonal flows under combined scenarios. This could bring the reduced availability of water for crop production, which will be a chronic issue of subsistence agriculture. The possibility of surface water and groundwater reduction could also affect the availability of water resources in the catchment and further aggravate water stress in the downstream. The highly rising demands of water, owing to socio-economic progress, population growth and high demand for irrigation water downstream, in addition to the variability temperature and evaporation demands, amplify prolonged water scarcity. Consequently, strong land-use planning and climate-resilient water management policies will be indispensable to manage the risks. 
Keywords:climate, flow, hydrology, runoff, RCP, water resources