ABSTRACT

IDENTIFYING EROSION HOT SPOT AREAS AND EVALUATION OF BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES IN THE TOBA WATERSHED, ETHIOPIA

Journal: Water Conservation and Management (WCM)
Author: Wakjira Takala Dibaba, Dessalegn Geleta Ebsa
Print ISSN : 2523-5664
Online ISSN : 2523-5672

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited

Doi: 10.26480/wcm.01.2022.30.38

Ethiopian highlands have been increasingly exposed to the risk of soil erosion and evaluations of how various management practices can reduce the risk of soil erosion are still limited. Here, the calibrated and validated Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is used to estimate soil loss rates, identify erosion hotspot areas and evaluate effective best management practices (BMP) to curb the risk of soil erosion. The annual sediment yield (SY) in Toba watershed varies from 0.09 t ha-1 yr-1 to 44.8 t ha-1 yr-1 with an average SY of 22.7 t ha-1 yr-1. Cultivated lands on steep slopes are the sources of extensive soil loss rate, whereas areas with good vegetation cover have low SY. The increased population pressure, increased cultivation of steep slope and uncontrolled grazing are the causes of high SY in the watershed. 17 sub-basins with SY higher than the tolerable erosion of Ethiopia (2-18 t ha-1 yr-1) are considered for the application of BMP scenarios. Implementing all BMPs could reduce the extent of SY but with varying degrees and combination of the BMPs are more pronounced and desirable. Reforestation with vegetative strips was the most effective management (87.8% reduction) followed by soil/stone bund with vegetative strips (83.7% reduction). These findings are important to ensure sustainable land management and promote sustainable agricultural production in a rapidly changing agricultural watershed. In general, the result highlights the need for regional developments and cooperation to urge for strong BMPs strategies for the rapid land and water resources degradation.
Pages 30-38
Year 2022
Issue 1
Volume 6

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