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Temporal Variability and Trends of Rainfall and Streamflow in Tana River Basin, Kenya

School of Environmental and Rural Science, University New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia
Central Queensland University, School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences, Bundaberg Campus, University Drive, Bundaberg, QLD 4670, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1963;
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 25 October 2017 / Accepted: 25 October 2017 / Published: 27 October 2017
PDF [7436 KB, uploaded 31 October 2017]


This study investigated temporal variabilities and trends of rainfall and discharges in Tana River Basin in Kenya using Mann–Kendall non-parametric test. Monthly rainfall data from ten stations spanning from 1967 to 2016 and daily streamflow data time series of observations from 1941 to 2016 (75 years) were analyzed with the aim of capturing and detecting multiannual and seasonal variabilities and monotonic trends. The results for the datasets suggested that the streamflow is largely dependent on increasing rainfall at the highlands. The rainfall trends seemed to have been influenced by altitudinal factors. The coefficient of variation of the ten rainfall stations ranged from 12% to 17% but 70% of rainfall stations showed negative monotonic trends and 30% show significant trends. The streamflow showed statistically significant upward monotonic trend and seasonal variability indicating a substantial change in the streamflow regime. Although the increasing trend of the streamflow during this period may not pose future risks and vulnerability of energy and irrigated agricultural production systems across the basin, variability observed indicates the need for enhanced alternative water management strategies during the low flow seasons. The trends and time series data indicate the potential evidence of climate and land use change and their impacts on the availability of water and sustainability of ecology and energy and agricultural production systems across the basin. Variability and trends of rainfall and streamflow are useful for planning studies, hydrological modeling and climate change impacts assessment within Tana River Basin. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; time series; Mann–Kendall test; river basin; sustainability; water yield climate change; time series; Mann–Kendall test; river basin; sustainability; water yield

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Langat, P.K.; Kumar, L.; Koech, R. Temporal Variability and Trends of Rainfall and Streamflow in Tana River Basin, Kenya. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1963.

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