River basins around the world face similar issues of water scarcity, deficient infrastructure, and great disparities in water availability between sub-regions, both within and between countries. In this study, different strategies under the Water Evaluation and Planning system (WEAP) were assessed to mitigate water overuse practices under the Current Trend (CT), Economic Growth (EG), and Demand Side Management (DSM) scenarios in relation to current and future statuses of Tanzania’s Wami Ruvu Basin (WRB). The results show that neither domestic nor irrigation water demand will be met based on the current trend. Under the CT scenario, the total water demand is projected to rise from 1050.0 million cubic meters in the year 2015, to 2122.9 million cubic meters by the year 2035, while under the DSM scenario the demand dropped to 990.0 million cubic meters in the year 2015 and to 1715.8 million cubic meters by the year 2035. This study reveals that there is a positive correlation between the highest surface runoff events and the highest unmet demand events in the basin. Terrestrial water demand alters the hydrological cycle of a catchment by modifying parameters such as surface runoff, particularly in small catchments. The results of this study prove that DSM strategies are more amenable to mitigate the impacts and implications of water demand, as they increase water sustainability and ensure ecosystem security by reducing the annual water demands and surface runoff by 15% and 2%, respectively.
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