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Open AccessArticle

The Effect of Landscape Interventions on Groundwater Flow and Surface Runoff in a Watershed in the Upper Reaches of the Blue Nile

1
Faculty of Civil and Water Resources Engineering, Bahir Dar Institute of Technology, Bahir Dar University, P.O. Box 26, Bahir Dar 6000, Ethiopia
2
Institute of Disaster Risk Management and Food Security Studies, Bahir Dar University, P.O. Box 5501, Bahir Dar 6000, Ethiopia
3
Blue Nile Water Institute, Bahir Dar University, P.O. Box 79, Bahir Dar 6000, Ethiopia
4
Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(10), 2188; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11102188
Received: 16 August 2019 / Revised: 14 October 2019 / Accepted: 16 October 2019 / Published: 21 October 2019
Anthropogenic landscape conversion from forest to agricultural land affects baseflow. Baseflow is a source of potable water and can be used for the irrigation of high value crops. Finding ways to increase base and inter flow (i.e., groundwater flow) is, therefore, essential for the improvement of the livelihood of rural inhabitants. Therefore, the objective is to investigate the effect of landscape interventions on stream discharge and, in particular, on groundwater flow. The Tikur-Wuha experimental watershed in the upper reaches of the Blue Nile was selected because discharge data were available before and after implementation of a suite of land management practices that, among others, enhanced the percolation of water to below the rootzone. The parameter efficient distributed (PED) model was used to separate overland flow from total flow. The groundwater flow index (GWFI), defined as the quotient of the annual groundwater flow to the total stream discharge at the outlet of the watershed, was calculated. Our analysis with the PED model showed that at similar annual rainfall amounts, more baseflow and less surface runoff was generated after the landscape intervention, which promoted deep infiltration of the rainwater. The decrease in surface runoff shortly after the implementation of the land management practices is similar to observations in other watersheds in the Ethiopian highlands. View Full-Text
Keywords: Blue Nile; groundwater flow; baseflow; land management; soil and water conservation practice; Ethiopia Blue Nile; groundwater flow; baseflow; land management; soil and water conservation practice; Ethiopia
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MDPI and ACS Style

Akale, A.T.; Dagnew, D.C.; Moges, M.A.; Tilahun, S.A.; Steenhuis, T.S. The Effect of Landscape Interventions on Groundwater Flow and Surface Runoff in a Watershed in the Upper Reaches of the Blue Nile. Water 2019, 11, 2188. https://doi.org/10.3390/w11102188

AMA Style

Akale AT, Dagnew DC, Moges MA, Tilahun SA, Steenhuis TS. The Effect of Landscape Interventions on Groundwater Flow and Surface Runoff in a Watershed in the Upper Reaches of the Blue Nile. Water. 2019; 11(10):2188. https://doi.org/10.3390/w11102188

Chicago/Turabian Style

Akale, Adugnaw T.; Dagnew, Dessalegn C.; Moges, Mamaru A.; Tilahun, Seifu A.; Steenhuis, Tammo S. 2019. "The Effect of Landscape Interventions on Groundwater Flow and Surface Runoff in a Watershed in the Upper Reaches of the Blue Nile" Water 11, no. 10: 2188. https://doi.org/10.3390/w11102188

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