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Open AccessArticle

The Impact of Land Use/Land Cover Change (LULCC) on Water Resources in a Tropical Catchment in Tanzania under Different Climate Change Scenarios

1
Department of Geography, University of Bonn, Meckenheimer Allee 166, 53115 Bonn, Germany
2
Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), University of Twente, Hengelosestraat 99, 7514 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
3
German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD), German Aerospace Center (DLR), Münchener Strasse 20, 82234 Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
4
Department of Remote Sensing, University of Würzburg, Oswald-Külpe-Str. 86, 97074 Würzburg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(24), 7083; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11247083
Received: 28 October 2019 / Revised: 21 November 2019 / Accepted: 6 December 2019 / Published: 11 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modelling Land Use Change and Environmental Impact)
Many parts of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are prone to land use and land cover change (LULCC). In many cases, natural systems are converted into agricultural land to feed the growing population. However, despite climate change being a major focus nowadays, the impacts of these conversions on water resources, which are essential for agricultural production, is still often neglected, jeopardizing the sustainability of the socio-ecological system. This study investigates historic land use/land cover (LULC) patterns as well as potential future LULCC and its effect on water quantities in a complex tropical catchment in Tanzania. It then compares the results using two climate change scenarios. The Land Change Modeler (LCM) is used to analyze and to project LULC patterns until 2030 and the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is utilized to simulate the water balance under various LULC conditions. Results show decreasing low flows by 6–8% for the LULC scenarios, whereas high flows increase by up to 84% for the combined LULC and climate change scenarios. The effect of climate change is stronger compared to the effect of LULCC, but also contains higher uncertainties. The effects of LULCC are more distinct, although crop specific effects show diverging effects on water balance components. This study develops a methodology for quantifying the impact of land use and climate change and therefore contributes to the sustainable management of the investigated catchment, as it shows the impact of environmental change on hydrological extremes (low flow and floods) and determines hot spots, which are critical for environmental development. View Full-Text
Keywords: SWAT model; Land Change Modeler; Scenario analysis; Extreme flows; Tanzania; Kilombero SWAT model; Land Change Modeler; Scenario analysis; Extreme flows; Tanzania; Kilombero
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MDPI and ACS Style

Näschen, K.; Diekkrüger, B.; Evers, M.; Höllermann, B.; Steinbach, S.; Thonfeld, F. The Impact of Land Use/Land Cover Change (LULCC) on Water Resources in a Tropical Catchment in Tanzania under Different Climate Change Scenarios. Sustainability 2019, 11, 7083. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11247083

AMA Style

Näschen K, Diekkrüger B, Evers M, Höllermann B, Steinbach S, Thonfeld F. The Impact of Land Use/Land Cover Change (LULCC) on Water Resources in a Tropical Catchment in Tanzania under Different Climate Change Scenarios. Sustainability. 2019; 11(24):7083. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11247083

Chicago/Turabian Style

Näschen, Kristian; Diekkrüger, Bernd; Evers, Mariele; Höllermann, Britta; Steinbach, Stefanie; Thonfeld, Frank. 2019. "The Impact of Land Use/Land Cover Change (LULCC) on Water Resources in a Tropical Catchment in Tanzania under Different Climate Change Scenarios" Sustainability 11, no. 24: 7083. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11247083

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