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ISSN: 2157-7587

Hydrology: Current Research
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  • Research Article   
  • Hydrol Current Res 2016, Vol 8(1): 263
  • DOI: 10.4172/2157-7587.1000263

Assessment of the Influence of Rainfall and River Discharge on Sediment Yield in the Upper Tana Catchment in Kenya

Imelda N Njogy* and Johnson U Kitheka
School of Water Resources Science and Technology, South Eastern Kenya University, Kitui, Kenya
*Corresponding Author : Imelda N Njogy, School of Water Resources Science and Technology, South Eastern Kenya University, Kitui, Kenya, Tel: +254-714645694, +254-702781796, Email: [email protected]

Received Date: Jan 17, 2017 / Accepted Date: Jan 31, 2017 / Published Date: Feb 07, 2017

Abstract

Sediment yield in the Upper Tana Basin in Kenya has implications on the sustainability of Hydro-Electric Power (HEP) dams and water resources development projects. Therefore, a study was undertaken in the basin to establish the extent to which rainfall and river discharges influence the sediment yield in the catchment. The study was based on hydrological data obtained from the Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA) and Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD). The river discharge data was obtained from three RGS Maragua (4BE01), Gura (4AD01) and Tana Sagana (4BC02) and rainfall data was obtained from Sagana Fish Farm and Nyeri Ministry of Works for the of period 1960-2013.The study also applied the Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) Model to determine the extent to which the model can be used to simulate streamflow and sediment yield in the basin. The results of the study showed that there is a significant variability in streamflow and sediment yield in the Upper Tana Basin. In the period between 1960 and 2015, the mean total annual river discharge of Tana Sagana was 128 m3s-1, and the maximum and minimum river discharges were 29.94 m3s-1 and 3.15 m3s-1, respectively. There was an indication of increasing trend in rainfall and subsequently sediment yield in the basin, which may be attributed to alteration of land use and climatic change. The results showed that SWAT model was quite good in simulating the variability of river discharge. The analysis revealed a poor relationship between sediment yield and rainfall. However, the relationship between rainfall and stream flow was strong with r value of 0.9 which is significant at p=0.05. Relationship between simulated and observed river discharge had a R2 of 0.442, r of 0.665 and NSE of -89.43. The relationship between simulated and observed sediment yield had a R2 of 0.733, r of 0.86 and NSE of 0.69. The results of this study showed that SWAT model can be used to predict sediment yield in the Upper Tana catchment. The model had good performance when daily rainfall, stream flow and sediment yield data were used. Thus, the model can be used to establish the relationship between rainfall, discharge, and sediment yield in a highly human-impacted tropical catchment area. The study puts also forward various recommendations on land and water resources management in the basin.

Keywords: SWAT model; Upper tana; Sediment yield; Rainfall; Discharge

Citation: Njogu IN, Kitheka JU (2017) Assessment of the Influence of Rainfall and River Discharge on Sediment Yield in the Upper Tana Catchment in Kenya. Hydrol Current Res 8: 263. Doi: 10.4172/2157-7587.1000263

Copyright: © 2017 Njogu IN, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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