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Remote Sens. 2014, 6(12), 12544-12574; doi:10.3390/rs61212544

Hydrological Impacts of Urbanization of Two Catchments in Harare, Zimbabwe

1
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Zimbabwe, Box MP 167, Harare, Zimbabwe
2
Department of Water Resources, Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), University of Twente, P.O. Box 6, AA Enschede 7500, The Netherlands
3
Department of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Zimbabwe, Box MP 167, Harare, Zimbabwe
4
Upper Manyame Subcatchment Council, Box 1892, Harare, Zimbabwe
5
Department of Environmental Engineering, Chinhoyi University of Technology, P. Bag 772, Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe
6
International Water Management Institute (IWMI), P.O. Box 5689, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 April 2014 / Revised: 20 October 2014 / Accepted: 4 November 2014 / Published: 12 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Earth Observation for Water Resource Management in Africa)
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Abstract

By increased rural-urban migration in many African countries, the assessment of changes in catchment hydrologic responses due to urbanization is critical for water resource planning and management. This paper assesses hydrological impacts of urbanization on two medium-sized Zimbabwean catchments (Mukuvisi and Marimba) for which changes in land cover by urbanization were determined through Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) images for the years 1986, 1994 and 2008. Impact assessments were done through hydrological modeling by a topographically driven rainfall-runoff model (TOPMODEL). A satellite remote sensing based ASTER 30 metre Digital Elevation Model (DEM) was used to compute the Topographic Index distribution, which is a key input to the model. Results of land cover classification indicated that urban areas increased by more than 600 % in the Mukuvisi catchment and by more than 200 % in the Marimba catchment between 1986 and 2008. Woodlands decreased by more than 40% with a greater decrease in Marimba than Mukuvisi catchment. Simulations using TOPMODEL in Marimba and Mukuvisi catchments indicated streamflow increases of 84.8 % and 73.6 %, respectively, from 1980 to 2010. These increases coincided with decreases in woodlands and increases in urban areas for the same period. The use of satellite remote sensing data to observe urbanization trends in semi-arid catchments and to represent catchment land surface characteristics proved to be effective for rainfall-runoff modeling. Findings of this study are of relevance for many African cities, which are experiencing rapid urbanization but often lack planning and design. View Full-Text
Keywords: urbanization; rainfall; remote sensing; runoff; TOPMODEL urbanization; rainfall; remote sensing; runoff; TOPMODEL
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Gumindoga, W.; Rientjes, T.; Shekede, M.D.; Rwasoka, D.T.; Nhapi, I.; Haile, A.T. Hydrological Impacts of Urbanization of Two Catchments in Harare, Zimbabwe. Remote Sens. 2014, 6, 12544-12574.

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