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Water management for agriculture under a changing climate: case study of Nyagatare watershed in Rwanda
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Sub-Saharan Africa is today facing a big challenge regarding food deficiency and water scarcity due to climate change. One of these countries is Rwanda, a small landlocked country in the middle of Africa. Rwanda strongly depend on agriculture, both in the aspect of reducing poverty and hunger but also because their economy security depend on it. Because of increasingly fluctuating rainfalls their agriculture becomes more dependent on irrigation and the availability to water resources.

To investigate how the climate change will affect the amount of water resources in the coming decades, this study is focusing on the watershed and marshland of Muvumba P8 in Nyagatare, Rwanda. A hydrological model was created, in a software called Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), with soil, land use and slope maps for the watershed. Calibrating the model was done with help of Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) data and run for nine different climate model datasets. An uncertainty had to be taken into account regarding both the measured local data and the downloaded data. To be able to compare the amount of water resources and the irrigation requirements for the rice crop the farmers were growing on the marshland, the crop water requirements for rice was estimated with FAO’s program called CROPWAT. The irrigation system on the marshland allows a double cropping of rice every year and consist of a system depending on elevation differences to create natural fall. There was three reservoirs along the marshland but to limit the project, only the first reservoir was taken into account. This was complemented with existing data and field survey.

Six out of nine climate models showed a decrease in median discharge over the coming 30 years compared to the CFSR historical median discharge. This means that less water in general will reach the outlet of the watershed in the years to come. At the same time all climate models indicate an increase in irrigation requirements for the rice crops. The seasons are probably going to change, a longer and drier season between June and August and a rainier season between September and November are projected.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 76
Series
UPTEC W, ISSN 1401-5765 ; 10943
Keywords [en]
climate change, hydrological model, SWAT, CROPWAT, Nyagatare, Rwanda, marshland, watershed, climate model, irrigation, rice crop
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology and Water Resources
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-391355OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-391355DiVA, id: diva2:1344783
Educational program
Master Programme in Environmental and Water Engineering
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-08-23 Created: 2019-08-22 Last updated: 2019-08-23Bibliographically approved

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Oceanography, Hydrology and Water Resources

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