The impact of land use/land cover change in Tanzania

The Impact of Land Use/Land Cover Change (LULCC) on Water Resources in a Tropical Catchment in Tanzania under Different Climate Change Scenarios

Many parts of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are prone to land use and land cover change (LULCC). In many cases, natural systems are converted into agricultural land to feed the growing population. However, despite climate change being a major focus nowadays, the impacts of these conversions on water resources, which are essential for agricultural production, is still often neglected, jeopardizing the sustainability of the socio-ecological system.

This study investigates historic land use/land cover (LULC) patterns as well as potential future LULCC and its effect on water quantities in a complex tropical catchment in Tanzania. It then compares the results using two climate change scenarios. The Land Change Modeler (LCM) is used to analyze and to project LULC patterns until 2030 and the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is utilized to simulate the water balance under various LULC conditions. Results show decreasing low flows by 6–8% for the LULC scenarios, whereas high flows increase by up to 84% for the combined LULC and climate change scenarios.

The effect of climate change is stronger compared to the effect of LULCC, but also contains higher uncertainties. The effects of LULCC are more distinct, although crop specific effects show diverging effects on water balance components. This study develops a methodology for quantifying the impact of land use and climate change and therefore contributes to the sustainable management of the investigated catchment, as it shows the impact of environmental change on hydrological extremes (low flow and floods) and determines hot spots, which are critical for environmental development.

By: Kristian Näschen, Bernd Diekkrüger, Mariele Evers, Britta Höllermann, Stefanie Steinbach, and Frank Thonfeld  (2019). Click here to read the full article.

More CRC News

Cover Image for a website post of a blog entry

Envisioning African Futures: Blog Post by Detlef Müller-Mahn and Eric Kioko

Against the backdrop of recent visits by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Chancellor Olaf Scholz and several German ministers to Africa, CRC-TRR Future Rural Africa researchers Detlef ...
Read More »
Dr. Richard Kiaka and his research assistants

Future Rural Africa Researchers Awarded Cologne International Forum Innovative Tandem Project Grant

The University of Cologne’s International Forum is awarding five project grants (€ 15,000 each) annually for project-related innovative tandem collaborations between University of Cologne-based academics ...
Read More »
Cover Image for a Lecture given by David Anderson at the University of Nairobi

Video Lecture: Kiotalel’s Kin – Identity, Autochthony and the Occult in Kenya’s Western Highlands

By Prof. David Anderson (CRC Project A02 Past Futures) In this presentation given at the University in Nairobi in late 2023, David Anderson focuses on ...
Read More »
Cover for a talk between David Anderson and Laleh Khalili

Video: Collective Punishment as Colonial Policing – A Conversation between David Anderson and Laleh Khalili

In this conversation, Prof. Laleh Khalili (Exeter; author of Time in the Shadows) and Prof. David Anderson (Future Rural Africa Project A02 Past Futures) discuss ...
Read More »
Kilombero Valley in Tanzania

Francis Ching’ota and Jonathan Jackson on Broadening Participation in Research Through Building Sustainable Relationships and Disseminating Knowledge

In their latest publication titled “Maono ya Bonde la Kilombero, Tanzania: Historia za Maendeleo Yake”, Francis Ching’ota, an Assistant Lecturer from the National Institute of ...
Read More »
Scroll to Top