Next Article in Journal
Enhancement of Solar Water Desalination Using Copper and Aluminum Oxide Nanoparticles
Next Article in Special Issue
Back to Ecology: Reference Conditions as a Basis for Assessment, Restoration and Sustainable Management of Large Rivers
Previous Article in Journal
Estimating Future Peak Water Demand with a Regression Model Considering Climate Indices
Previous Article in Special Issue
Responses of Freshwater Diatoms and Macrophytes Rely on the Stressor Gradient Length across the River Systems
Article

Ecological Status as the Basis for the Holistic Environmental Flow Assessment of a Tropical Highland River in Ethiopia

1
Amhara Design and Supervision Works Enterprise, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar P.O. Box 26, Ethiopia
2
Bahir Dar Institute of Technology, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar P.O. Box 26, Ethiopia
3
Department of Fishery and Aquatic Ecosystems, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar P.O. Box 26, Ethiopia
4
Department of Biology, Blue Nile Water Institute, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar P.O. Box 26, Ethiopia
5
Department of Natural Resource Management, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar P.O. Box 26, Ethiopia
6
International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Addis Ababa 1000, Ethiopia
7
Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA
8
Department of Water Science and Engineering, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, 2700 Delft, The Netherlands
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gorazd Urbanič
Water 2021, 13(14), 1913; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13141913
Received: 25 May 2021 / Revised: 6 July 2021 / Accepted: 7 July 2021 / Published: 10 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Large Rivers: Ecology and Management in a Changing World)
There is an increasing need globally to establish relationships among flow, ecology, and livelihoods to make informed decisions about environmental flows. This paper aimed to establish the ecological foundation for a holistic environmental flow assessment method in the Gumara River that flows into Lake Tana in Ethiopia and the Blue Nile River. First, the ecological conditions (fish, macro-invertebrate, riparian vegetation, and physicochemical) of the river system were characterized, followed by determining the hydrological condition and finally linking the ecological and hydrological components. The ecological data were collected at 30 sites along the Gumara River on March 2016 and 2020. River hydrology was estimated using the SWAT model and showed that the low flow decreased over time. Both physico-chemical and macroinvertebrate scores showed that water quality was moderate in most locations. The highest fish diversity index was in the lower reach at Wanzaye. Macroinvertebrate diversity was observed to decrease downstream. Both the fish and macroinvertebrate diversity indices were less than the expected maximum, being 3.29 and 4.5, respectively. The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) for 30 m and 60 m buffer distances from the river decreased during the dry season (March–May). Hence, flow conditions, water quality, and land-use change substantially influenced the abundance and diversity of fish, vegetation, and macroinvertebrate species. The pressure on the ecology is expected to increase because the construction of the proposed dam is expected to alter the flow regime. Thus, as demand for human water consumption grows, measures are needed, including quantification of environmental flow requirements and regulating river water uses to conserve the ecological status of the Gumara River and Lake Tana sub-basin. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecological indicators; fish; macroinvertebrates; Gumara river; lake Tana; normalized difference vegetation index; non-metric multi-dimensional scaling; soil and water assessment tool; wetland ecological indicators; fish; macroinvertebrates; Gumara river; lake Tana; normalized difference vegetation index; non-metric multi-dimensional scaling; soil and water assessment tool; wetland
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Abebe, W.B.; Tilahun, S.A.; Moges, M.M.; Wondie, A.; Dersseh, M.G.; Assefa, W.W.; Mhiret, D.A.; Adem, A.A.; Zimale, F.A.; Abera, W.; Steenhuis, T.S.; McClain, M.E. Ecological Status as the Basis for the Holistic Environmental Flow Assessment of a Tropical Highland River in Ethiopia. Water 2021, 13, 1913. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13141913

AMA Style

Abebe WB, Tilahun SA, Moges MM, Wondie A, Dersseh MG, Assefa WW, Mhiret DA, Adem AA, Zimale FA, Abera W, Steenhuis TS, McClain ME. Ecological Status as the Basis for the Holistic Environmental Flow Assessment of a Tropical Highland River in Ethiopia. Water. 2021; 13(14):1913. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13141913

Chicago/Turabian Style

Abebe, Wubneh B., Seifu A. Tilahun, Michael M. Moges, Ayalew Wondie, Minychl G. Dersseh, Workiye W. Assefa, Demesew A. Mhiret, Anwar A. Adem, Fasikaw A. Zimale, Wuletawu Abera, Tammo S. Steenhuis, and Michael E. McClain 2021. "Ecological Status as the Basis for the Holistic Environmental Flow Assessment of a Tropical Highland River in Ethiopia" Water 13, no. 14: 1913. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13141913

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop