Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Separate and Combined Impacts of Land Cover and Climate Changes on Hydrological Responses of Dhidhessa River Basin, Ethiopia

Version 1 : Received: 22 December 2020 / Approved: 23 December 2020 / Online: 23 December 2020 (15:48:06 CET)

How to cite: Kabite, G.; Muleta, M.; Gessesse, B. Separate and Combined Impacts of Land Cover and Climate Changes on Hydrological Responses of Dhidhessa River Basin, Ethiopia. Preprints 2020, 2020120595 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202012.0595.v1). Kabite, G.; Muleta, M.; Gessesse, B. Separate and Combined Impacts of Land Cover and Climate Changes on Hydrological Responses of Dhidhessa River Basin, Ethiopia. Preprints 2020, 2020120595 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202012.0595.v1).

Abstract

Land cover and climate changes greatly influence hydrologic responses of a basin. However, the response vary from basin to basin depending on the nature and severity of the changes and basin characteristics. Moreover, the combined impacts of the changes affect hydrologic responses of a basin in an offsetting or synergistic manner. This study quantified the separate and combined impacts, and the relative contributions of land cover and climate changes on multiple hydrological regimes (i.e., surface runoff, streamflow, groundwater recharge evapotranspiration) for the Dhidhessa Subbasin. Land cover and climate change data were obtained from a recent study completed for the basin. Calibrated Soil and Water Analysis Tool (SWAT) was used to quantify the impacts. The result showed that SWAT model performed well for the Dhidhessa Subbasin in predicting the water balance components. Substantial land cover change as well as an increasing temperature and rainfall trends were reported in the river basin during the past three decades. In response to these changes, surface runoff, streamflow and actual evapotranspiration (AET) increased while groundwater recharge declined. Surface runoff was more sensitive to land cover than to climate changes whereas streamflow and AET were more sensitive to climate change than to land cover change. The combined impacts played offsetting effect on groundwater recharge and AET while inconsistent effects within study periods for other hydrologic responses. Overall, the predicted hydrologic responses will have negative impacts on agricultural production and water resources availability. Therefore, the implementation of integrated watershed management strategies such as soil and water conservation and afforestation could reverse the negative impacts.

Subject Areas

Hydrological responses; global environmental changes; Dhidhessa Subbasin; Land cover change; Climate change; Combined impacts.

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