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Water resources planning and modelling tools for the assessment of land use change in the Luvuvhu Catchment, South Africa

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Graham Jewitt, Dr James GarrattORCiD, Professor Ian Calder, Lisa Fuller


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In and and semi-arid areas, total evaporation is a major component of the hydrological cycle and seasonal water shortages and drought are corm-non. In these areas, the role of land use and land use change is particularly important and it is imperative that land and water resources are well managed. To aid efficient water management, it is useful to demonstrate how changing land use affects water resources. A convenient framework to consider this is through the use of the 'blue-water' and 'green-water' classification of Falkenmark. where green-water represents water use by land and blue-water represents runoff. In this study the hydrological response of nine land-use scenarios were simulated for the upper reaches of the Mutale River, an important tributary of the Luvuvhu River in S. Africa. The ACRU and HYLUC land use sensitive hydrological models, were used to investigate the change in blue and green water under the various land-use scenarios. The GIS software ArcGIS(8.3) was used to analyse available spatial data to generate inputs required by the hydrological models. The scenarios investigated included the current land use in the catchment, an increase or decrease in forest cover, and an increase or decrease in the area irrigated. Both models predict that increasing either forestry or irrigation significantly reduces the proportion of blue water in the catchment. The predictions from the models were combined with maps of catchment land use, to illustrate the changes in distribution of green and blue water in a user-friendly manner. The use of GIS in this way is designed to enable policy-makers and managers to quickly assimilate the water resource implication of the land use change. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Jewitt GPW, Garratt J, Calder IR, Fuller L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Physics and Chemistry of the Earth

Year: 2004

Volume: 29

Issue: 15-18

Pages: 1233-1241

ISSN (print): 1474-7065

ISSN (electronic): 1873-5193

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/j.pce.2004.09.020

Notes: Paper originally presented at the 4th WaterNet/WARFSA Symposium Water, Science, Technology and Policy Convergence and Action by All (A Meeting Point for Action leading to Sustainable Development), held in Gaborone, Botswana on 15–17 October 2003.


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