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Implications of Watershed Management Practices on Water Availability Using Hydrus 1D Model

In Aba Gerima Watershed, Upper Blue Nile Basin, Ethiopia

01 October 2022


A farmer stands on a raised platform amongst his field of crops, filling a large black water tank placed in the foreground from a blue water pump
A farmer stands on a raised platform amongst his field of crops, filling a large black water tank placed in the foreground from a blue water pump

A farmer fills his water tank for irrigation

Authors: Tekuamework Fikadu, Ermias Teferi, Berihun Dubale, Bukho Gusha, Sukhmani K. Mantel, Jane Tanner, Carolyn G. (Tally) Palmer, Zerihun Woldu, Tena Alamirew, and Gete Zeleke


The main objective of this study was to examine the implications of watershed management (WSM) on hydrological parameters in the Aba Gerima watershed in the Upper Blue Nile Basin. The Hydrus 1D model simulations were conducted in control sites and sites under WSM to estimate various components of the hydrologic cycle, using different soil physical & hydrological data under each category of experimental sites. Results were calibrated with measured soil moisture data through inverse solutions. Thus, Hydrus 1D model was found to be effective in predicting results, with R2 values of 0.73 to 0.853 and RMSE values ranging from 0.015 to 0.04. The cumulative evaporation estimated for 365 days for control sites was 37.6% higher than that of sites under WSM. Surface and bottom fluxes in the sites under WSM were 4.6% and 12.5%, respectively, higher than the control sites. This could be attributed to the increased soil water availability resulting from the implemented WSM practices in Aba Gerima, and the results of this study can be used as empirical evidence of the positive implications of WSM on water availability. Finally, WSM should be strengthened by concerned bodies and development partners in all watersheds, especially where water availability is affected by severe land degradation.

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Images:

A farmer filling his water-tank for irrigation ’, by Vrinda Khushu, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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