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Evaluating Land and Water Productivity in a Changing Climatic and Management Regimes on Ethiopian River Basins (Abbay, Awash and Rift Valley Lakes Sub Basins)

  • 5 May, 2023
  • Wageningen University, Soil Physics and Land Management
  • dr.ir. L. Fleskens
  • dr. T. Alamirewdr. J.P. Carvalho Nunes

Ethiopia’s economy relies on agricultural production. However, the current agricultural practices are constrained by climate induced shocks and rapidly increasing population growth, leading to an increased demand for food. In response, there is a continuous agricultural intensification, which can aggravate the generation of non-point source pollution (NPS) loads. Likewise, the Koga watershed faces issues such as fertile soil erosion, siltation of irrigation reservoirs, water pollution and conflicts over water usage due to intensive farming methods on elevated landscapes and the highest rainfall patterns. Addressing these challenges requires studying and implementing effective mitigation measures called best management practices (BMPs) in the watershed. Nonetheless, the impacts of existing and alternative BMPs in relation to crop production, NPS loads, hydrological process, water allocation, and future performance under a changing climate are rarely studied together. This PhD research aims to address these concerns by developing an integrated modelling approach to evaluate the comprehensive effects of BMPS on the non-point sources pollution loads, agricultural productivity, and water resource management in the Koga watershed. To achieve this goal, the recently updated version of the hydrological model (SWAT+) will be employed independently, combined with the water resources model of Water Evaluation and Planning System (WEAP), and augmented using cutting edge remote sensing technologies and participatory stakeholder engagement. As a result, this study will provide empirical evidence the effects of BMPs for the sustainable agricultural production and water resources management in the Koga watershed.

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Mulugeta Melese

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