Modelling the effect of soil and water conservation on discharge and sediment yield in the upper blue Nile basin

Lemann, Tatenda; Zeleke, Gete; Amsler, Caroline; Giovanoli, Luciano; Suter, Hannes; Roth, Vincent (2016). Modelling the effect of soil and water conservation on discharge and sediment yield in the upper blue Nile basin. Applied geography, 73, pp. 89-101. Elsevier 10.1016/j.apgeog.2016.06.008

[img] Text
1-s2.0-S0143622816301485-main.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (4MB) | Request a copy

Soil and water conservation (SWC) can in fluence the amount of sediment yield leaving a catchment and the availability of water for up- and downstream stakeholders. The extent of this in
fluence depends heavily on hydro-climatic conditions in the upstream catchments. This study investigated the changes in blue and green water distribution and sediment yield in a meso-scale catchment in the Wet Wenya Dega agro-climatic zone in the upper Blue Nile basin, where the implementation of SWC measures has been documented for the last 29 years. We implemented the temporal and spatial variability of SWC in the form of terracing into the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and modelled its in fluence on discharge and sediment load. Using the Sequential Uncertainty Fitting program (SUFI-2), we calibrated and validated discharge and sediment load with a 31-year data set from a sub-catchment (113 ha) and validated the model for the entire catchment (4818 ha) with a two-year data set. Modelling showed that discharge at the catchment level, and thus water availability for downstream stakeholders, did not change signi
ficantly with the implementation of new SWC measures, but SWC could substantially reduce
sediment yield. Two modelled SWC scenarios showed that with the implementation of SWC measures the average annual sediment yield of the study area could be reduced from 37 t/ha to 17 t/ha.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Geographies of Sustainability > Unit Land Systems and Sustainable Land Management (LS-SLM)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

Graduate School:

International Graduate School North-South (IGS North-South)

UniBE Contributor:

Lemann, Tatenda; Suter, Hannes and Roth, Vincent


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics
900 History > 910 Geography & travel






[436] Water and Land Resource Centre Project Official URL
[616] Blue and Green Water Modelling in the Upper Blue Nile Basin




Stephan Schmidt

Date Deposited:

03 Aug 2016 10:48

Last Modified:

09 Mar 2017 15:11

Publisher DOI:





Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback