Evaluating watershed service availability under future management and climate change scenarios in the Pangani Basin

Notter, Benedikt; Hurni, Hans; Wiesmann, Urs Martin; Ngana, James O. (2013). Evaluating watershed service availability under future management and climate change scenarios in the Pangani Basin. Physics and chemistry of the earth, 61-62, pp. 1-11. Elsevier 10.1016/j.pce.2012.08.017

[img] Text
1-s2.0-S1474706512001076-main.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (2MB) | Request a copy

Watershed services are the benefits people obtain from the flow of water through a watershed. While demand for such services is increasing in most parts of the world, supply is getting more insecure due to human impacts on ecosystems such as climate or land use change. Population and water management authorities therefore require information on the potential availability of watershed services in the future and the trade-offs involved. In this study, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is used to model watershed service availability for future management and climate change scenarios in the East African Pangani Basin. In order to quantify actual “benefits”, SWAT2005 was slightly modified, calibrated and configured at the required spatial and temporal resolution so that simulated water resources and processes could be characterized based on their valuation by stakeholders and their accessibility. The calibrated model was then used to evaluate three management and three climate scenarios. The results show that by the year 2025, not primarily the physical availability of water, but access to water resources and efficiency of use represent the greatest challenges. Water to cover basic human needs is available at least 95% of time but must be made accessible to the population through investments in distribution infrastructure. Concerning the trade-off between agricultural use and hydropower production, there is virtually no potential for an increase in hydropower even if it is given priority. Agriculture will necessarily expand spatially as a result of population growth, and can even benefit from higher irrigation water availability per area unit, given improved irrigation efficiency and enforced regulation to ensure equitable distribution of available water. The decline in services from natural terrestrial ecosystems (e.g. charcoal, food), due to the expansion of agriculture, increases the vulnerability of residents who depend on such services mostly in times of drought. The expected impacts of climate change may contribute to an increase or decrease in watershed service availability, but are only marginal and much lower than management impacts up to the year 2025.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Integrative Geography > Unit Geography of Sustainable Development
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Integrative Geography > Unit Sustainable Land Management
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography

UniBE Contributor:

Notter, Benedikt; Hurni, Hans and Wiesmann, Urs Martin

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics

ISSN:

1474-7065

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Monika Wälti-Stampfli

Date Deposited:

17 Jan 2014 09:48

Last Modified:

03 Aug 2017 09:24

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.pce.2012.08.017

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Watershed services, East Africa, Modeling, Soil and Water Assessment Tool, Scenarios

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.39655

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/39655

Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback