Watershed Hydrological Responses to Changes in Land Use and Land Cover at Hangar Watershed, Ethiopia

Document Type : Research Note


Department of Hydraulic and Water Resouces Engineering, Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Jimma University Institute of Technology, Jimma, Ethiopia


The various water resources project planning and implementation need the knowledge of factors influencing watershed hydrology. Therefore, this study analyzed Hangar watershed hydrological responses to land use/land cover change (LULCC) from 1987 to 2017. In addition to the LULC data, the input data used for the soil and water assessment tool (SWAT) model simulation were the DEM data, soil data, and climatic data. The model calibrated and validated using measured streamflow data of 13 years (1990-2002) and nine years (2003-2011), respectively. The result after simulation indicated that the annual total water yield of the watershed decreased. The annual simulated stream flow through the study period is increased for wet and short rainy season whereas, decreased for dry season. An increase of wet season flow may result in flooding, and the reduction of dry season flow may affect water scheme practice. Therefore, this study enables the concerned body to curve the changes in LULC towards increasing vegetation cover so that, surface runoff that contributes to wet season flow will be reduced and infiltration that supply groundwater from which dry season/base flow contributed will be increased.