Restoring the perennial Great Ruaha River using ecohydrology, engineering and governance methods in Tanzania

Kihwele, Emilian, Muse, Epaphras, Magomba, Evance, Mnaya, Bakari, Nassoro, Ahamed, Banga, Paul, Murashani, Edimund, Irmamasita, Daniel, Kiwango, Halima, Birkett, Charon, and Wolanski, Eric (2018) Restoring the perennial Great Ruaha River using ecohydrology, engineering and governance methods in Tanzania. Ecohydrology and Hydrobiology, 18 (2). pp. 120-129.

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The Great Ruaha River (GRR) in Tanzania was perennial before 1993. Its source, the Usangu wetlands, was also perennial. Since then, the GRR has started drying out during the dry season, with a trend towards earlier and longer periods of drying. This drying process degrades the surrounding ecosystems along the entire length of the GRR, including the Ruaha National Park (RNP) and impacts human livelihoods throughout its course; it also impairs the economy of Tanzania through reduced hydropower generation at the Mtera and Kidatu power plants. The Usangu wetlands dried up in 2000, 2002 and 2005 during the dry season and its areal extent has been shrinking. Intensive livestock grazing and both dry and wet season irrigated agriculture in the Usangu wetlands, were the main reasons for this water crisis. In 2006, the Government of Tanzania moved to address the crisis by removing livestock from the Usangu wetlands, attempting to regulate water use in the GRR catchment and expanding the RNP to include the Usangu wetlands.

Item ID: 51561
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2080-3397
Keywords: restoration, wetlands, irrigation, water levels, ecosystems, satellite radar altimetry
Funders: Tanzania Natinal Parks, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Projects and Grants: NASA grant NNX13AH15G
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2017 03:42
FoR Codes: 37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3707 Hydrology > 370704 Surface water hydrology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9199 Other Economic Framework > 919902 Ecological Economics @ 100%
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