Growing population and unregulated access to forest land have exerted high pressure on the land and water resources of the recharge areas of the transboundary Mara river, in the Lake Victoria region leading to changes in land and water use patterns in the basin. This thesis considers the interactions among climate change and variability, water quality, land surface cover, hydrology, and human systems, including societal adaptations to changing environmental conditions. The thesis explores the interaction between trends in climatic variables and the feedback response of vegetation variables. The effect of different land cover types on water quality is addressed, and alternative methods to treat data quality for hydrological model inputs and validation are discussed. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) hydrological model was adapted to the tropical watershed experiencing data scarcity, and used to assess the impacts of changes to the climate, land use and management practices. Different scenarios driven by the prevailing natural trends, strategic national development and economic policies were used to asses the potential impacts of changes.
2. Overview of climate and land use change studies
3. SWAT hydrologic modeling in the larger Lake Victoria region
4. Description of the study area
5. Remote sensing data analysis
6. Soil, crop yield and water quality analysis
7. Trend analysis for assessment of climate Variability
8. Hydrological modelling
9. Modelling climatic change impacts on the hydrology of the Upper Mara basin
10. Modelling land use and management change impacts on the hydrology of the basin
IHE Delft PhD programme leads to a deepening of a field of specialisation. PhD fellows do scientific research, often with conclusions that directly influence their region. At IHE Delft, PhD researchers from around the world participate in problem-focused and solution-oriented research on development issues, resulting in an inspiring research environment. PhD fellows work together with other researchers from many countries dealing with topics related to water and the environment.
PhD research is often carried out in the ‘sandwich’ model. Preparation and final reporting – the first and last portion of the programme – are carried out in Delft, while actual research is done in the fellow’s home country, under co-supervision of a local institute. Regular contacts with the promotor are maintained through visits and long-distance communication. This enables researchers to employ solutions directly to problems in their geographical region.
IHE Delft PhD degrees are awarded jointly with a university. The degrees are highly valued and fully recognised in all parts of the world.