Impact of conservation practices on runoff and soil loss in the sub-humid Ethiopian Highlands: The Debre Mawi watershed

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Title:Impact of conservation practices on runoff and soil loss in the sub-humid Ethiopian Highlands: The Debre Mawi watershed
Creators:
Dagnew, Dessalegn C.; School of Civil and Water Resource Engineering, Institute of Technology, Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia, P.O. Box 26, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.
Guzman, Christian D.; Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
Zegeye, Assefa D.; Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
Tibebu, Tigist Y.; Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
Getaneh, Menelik; Amhara Agricultural Research Institute (ARARI), P.O. Box 527, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.
Abate, Solomon; Eastern Nile Technical Regional Office (ENTRO), P.O. Box 27173-1000, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Zemale, Fasikaw A.; School of Civil and Water Resource Engineering, Institute of Technology, Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia, P.O. Box 26, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.
Ayana, Essayas K.; Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA and the Nature Conservancy, Arlington, VA, USA.
Tilahun, Seifu A.; School of Civil and Water Resource Engineering, Institute of Technology, Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia, P.O. Box 26, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.
Steenhuis, Tammo S.; tss1 at cornell dot edu; Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Hydrology and Hydromechanics, 63, 3, pp. 210-219
Uncontrolled Keywords:runoff, soil loss, sediment concentration, Blue Nile basin, soil and water conservation

Abstract

In response to the continually increasing sediment concentrations in rivers and lakes, the Ethiopian government is leading an effort where farmers are installing soil and water conservation measures to increase infiltration and reduce erosion. This paper reports on findings from a four year study in the 95 ha Debre Mawi watershed where under the government led conservation works, mainly terraces with infiltration furrows were installed halfway in the period of observation. The results show that runoff volume decreased significantly after installation of the soil and water conservation practices but sediment concentration decreased only marginally. Sediment loads were reduced mainly because of the reduced runoff. Infiltration furrows were effective on the hillsides where rain water could infiltrate, but on the flat bottom lands that become saturated with the progress of the monsoon rain, infiltration was restricted and conservation practices became conduits for carrying excess rainfall. This caused the initiation of gullies in several occasions in the saturated bottomlands. Sediment concentration at the outlet barely decreased due to entrainment of loose soil from unstable banks of gullies in the periodically saturated bottom areas. Since most uphill drainage were already half filled up with sediments after two years, long term benefits of reducing runoff can only be sustained with continuous maintenance of uphill infiltration furrows.

Official URL: http://147.213.145.2/vc/vc1.asp

Title:Impact of conservation practices on runoff and soil loss in the sub-humid Ethiopian Highlands: The Debre Mawi watershed
Translated title:Impact of conservation practices on runoff and soil loss in the sub-humid Ethiopian Highlands: The Debre Mawi watershed
Creators:
Dagnew, Dessalegn C.; School of Civil and Water Resource Engineering, Institute of Technology, Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia, P.O. Box 26, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.
Guzman, Christian D.; Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
Zegeye, Assefa D.; Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
Tibebu, Tigist Y.; Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
Getaneh, Menelik; Amhara Agricultural Research Institute (ARARI), P.O. Box 527, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.
Abate, Solomon; Eastern Nile Technical Regional Office (ENTRO), P.O. Box 27173-1000, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Zemale, Fasikaw A.; School of Civil and Water Resource Engineering, Institute of Technology, Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia, P.O. Box 26, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.
Ayana, Essayas K.; Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA and the Nature Conservancy, Arlington, VA, USA.
Tilahun, Seifu A.; School of Civil and Water Resource Engineering, Institute of Technology, Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia, P.O. Box 26, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.
Steenhuis, Tammo S.; tss1 at cornell dot edu; Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
Uncontrolled Keywords:runoff, soil loss, sediment concentration, Blue Nile basin, soil and water conservation
Subjects:T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Divisions:Mathematics, Physics and Earth Sciences > Institute of Hydrodynamics > Journal of Hydrology and Hydromechanics
Journal or Publication Title:Journal of Hydrology and Hydromechanics
Volume:63
Number:3
Page Range:pp. 210-219
ISSN:0042-790X
Publisher:Institute of Hydrology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Hydrodynamics of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
Related URLs:
URLURL Type
http://avi.lib.cas.cz/node/55Publisher
ID Code:8522
Item Type:Article
Deposited On:17 Dec 2015 12:39
Last Modified:17 Dec 2015 11:39

Citation

Dagnew, Dessalegn C.; Guzman, Christian D.; Zegeye, Assefa D.; Tibebu, Tigist Y.; Getaneh, Menelik; Abate, Solomon; Zemale, Fasikaw A.; Ayana, Essayas K.; Tilahun, Seifu A.; Steenhuis, Tammo S. (2015) Impact of conservation practices on runoff and soil loss in the sub-humid Ethiopian Highlands: The Debre Mawi watershed. Journal of Hydrology and Hydromechanics, 63 (3). pp. 210-219. ISSN 0042-790X

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