Towards an ecohydrology-based restoration of the Usangu wetlands and the Great Ruaha River, Tanzania

Mtahiko, M.G.G., Gereta, E., Kajuni, A. R., Chiombola, E. A .T., Ng’umbi, G. Z., Coppolillo, P., and Wolanski, E. (2006) Towards an ecohydrology-based restoration of the Usangu wetlands and the Great Ruaha River, Tanzania. Wetlands Ecology and Management, 14 (6). pp. 489-503.

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Abstract

An open channel flow model, calibrated against field data, suggests that cattle intrusion in the eastern Usangu wetlands, as well as both dry and wet weather irrigation upstream, are responsible for the seasonal drying out of the Great Ruaha River (GRR) downstream. This human-induced change has severe socio-economic implications downstream, including hindering hydroelectricity production, as well as a devastating impact on the Ruaha National Park (RNP) ecosystem that is now shifting from wet tropics to dry tropics. To ensure sustainable development, governance is urgently needed for the Usangu catchment in a way that is compatible with ecohydrology principles for the sustainable use of water resources. In order to do that, perennial flow must be restored to the GRR. For this to happen this study suggests that all the livestock must be removed from the eastern Usangu wetlands and dry weather irrigators must return at least 25% (∼4 m3 s−1) of the water to the river.

Item ID: 8967
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: cattle; drought; flood; irrigation; Tanzania; wetlands; wildlife
ISSN: 1572-9834
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2010 02:59
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 20%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050207 Environmental Rehabilitation (excl Bioremediation) @ 60%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management @ 20%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960501 Ecosystem Assessment and Management at Regional or Larger Scales @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960503 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation > 960604 Environmental Management Systems @ 40%
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