Influence of and Climate Change Landuse Changes on Hydrological Variations of Meso-scale Semi-Arid River Basin
Phoebe Pauline Onjira - Hector Fellow Franz Nestmann
Freshwater resource is under constant stresses resulting from continued landuse changes, climatic changes and overexploitation. Changes in climatic patterns resulting from a shift in global energy coupled with changes in landuse/landcover are causing variations in patterns of streamflow and hydrological partitioning at local and global scales. Hydrological impacts of landuse changes have been investigated at micro-scale (<100 km2), which assumes spatial homogeneity of the system’s components, whereas impacts of climate change analysed at regional scales. Planning and decision making is suitable with outputs from analysis of meso-scale (>100 km2 < 10,000 km2) river basins. However, at meso-scale, several clusters of the landscapes exists which increases the complexities in analysing climate-landuse-hydrological coupled systems.
This research supervised by Prof. Dr.-Ing Franz Nestmann aims to quantify hydrological impacts of landuse changes and climate change of a meso-scale river basin by analysing streamflow variations and hydrological partitioning based on landuse clusters and climatic system. The selected study area is in Lower Zone of Olifants River Basin in South Africa, which is characterized by changes in landuse, variable precipitation and water deficit. Projections of climate parameters and landuse changes will be utilized to analyze future hydrological state applied to decision support system of the river basin (see Figure).