Development of a streamflow model for rural catchments in Kenya.

Mungai DN;, Gichuki FN;, Gachene CKK;, Thomas DB. Development of a streamflow model for rural catchments in Kenya..; 1993.


A stream flow model was developed for use in rural catchments in Kenya. In the model the physical environment was divided into three zones: the unsaturated zone (consists of multiple hydrological response units defined by homogenous land use and soil type in which a daily soil moisture balance is maintained), shallow saturated and deep saturated zones which were modelled as regional aquifers. Rainfall and evapotranspiration were distributed according to altitude, and runoff was determined using the curve number method devised by the US Soil Conservation Service: a function of five-day antecedent precipitation. Evapotranspiration was varied according to the soil moisture content, and the weather generator allowed Monte Carol simulations over a long period. The data consisted of daily rainfall, mean daily evaporation for each month, land use/vegetation and soil type. The ARC-INFO GIS package was used to assemble the topographical, hydrological, land use/vegetation type and soil information in different layer. The model was tested on the Naro Moru catchment (172kn2) in Kenya, which has climatic conditions that vary from the glaciated peaks of Mount Kenya (5,200 m) to the semi-arid Laikipia plateau (1,800 m). The model was calibrated over a two-year period and validated over a different two-year period. A comparison of the observed and simulated stream flow showed that minimal calibration was required. The simulated stream flow compared well with the observed values for both the calibration and the validation periods (70-85% for the 10-day period) indicating that the model is appropriate for ungauged catchments.


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