Long-term effects of watershed management on surface runoff and sediment loss in the Ethiopian Highlands

Hurni, Hans (January 2010). Long-term effects of watershed management on surface runoff and sediment loss in the Ethiopian Highlands. In: Conference on Water Resources in Ethiopia. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 12.-16. January 2010.

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Data on rainfall, runoff and sediment loss from different land use types have been collected by the Soil Conservation Research Programme in seven small catchments (73-673 hectares) throughout the Ethiopian Highlands since the early 1980s. Monitoring was carried out on a storm-to-storm basis for extended periods of 10-20 years, and the data are analysed here to assess long-term effects of changes. Soil and water conservation technologies were introduced in the early years in the catchments in view of their capacity to reduce runoff and sediment yield. Results indicate that rainfall did not substantially change over the observation periods. Land use changes and land degradation, however, altered runoff, as shown by the data from small test plots (30 m2), which were not altered by conservation measures during the monitoring periods. Sediment delivery from the catchments may have decreased due to soil and water conservation, while runoff rates did not change significantly. Extrapolation of the results in the highlands, however, showed that expansion of cultivated and grazing land induced by population growth may have increased the overall surface runoff. Watershed management in the catchments, finally, had beneficial effects on ecosystem services by reducing soil erosion, restoring soil fertility, enhancing agricultural production, and maintaining overall runoff to the benefit of lowland areas and neighbouring countries.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Abstract)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Integrative Geography > Unit Sustainable Land Management
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Integrative Geography
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > NCCR North-South Management Centre (discontinued)
10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

UniBE Contributor:

Hurni, Hans

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics

Language:

English

Submitter:

Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:19

Last Modified:

19 Nov 2015 13:48

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.6007

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/6007 (FactScience: 210898)

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