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.
Table of Contents
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
Fidelis Kilonzo graduated (BSc) in Agricultural Engineering from JKUAT, Kenya. He has MSc qualifications in Water Resources Management from Leuphana University Lüneburg (Suderburg Campus), Germany as well as an MSc in Environmental sanitation from Gent University, Belgium. He has worked in Kenya as a Sales Engineer (RVMS ltd), Environmental officer (NEMA-Kenya) and Industrial Research Scientist (KIRDI).
He is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Civil Engineering (Water and Environmental Engineering), Kenyatta University (Kenya). He has research interests in sustainable adaptations strategies to climatic change impacts on water resources, including natural attenuation and reuse systems. Other interests include scenario management as a decision support tool in integrated water resources management.