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Volume 379
Proc. IAHS, 379, 37-42, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/piahs-379-37-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Proc. IAHS, 379, 37-42, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/piahs-379-37-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Pre-conference publication 05 Jun 2018

Pre-conference publication | 05 Jun 2018

Understanding the Impacts of Climate Change in the Tana River Basin, Kenya

Lal Muthuwatta1, Aditya Sood2, Matthew McCartney3, Nishchitha Sandeepana Silva4, and Alfred Opere5 Lal Muthuwatta et al.
  • 1International Water Management Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • 2The Nature Conservancy, New Delhi, India
  • 3International Water Management Institute, Vientiane, Lao PDR
  • 4Department of Estuarine and Ocean Sciences, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, School for Marine Science and Technology, New Bedford, Massachusetts, USA
  • 5African Collaboration Centre for Earth System Science, Department of Geology, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya

Abstract. In the Tana River Basin in Kenya, six Regional Circulation Models (RCMs) simulating two Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) (i.e., 4.5 and 8.5) were used as input to the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model to determine the possible implications for the hydrology and water resources of the basin. Four hydrological characteristics – water yield, groundwater recharge, base flow and flow regulation – were determined and mapped throughout the basin for three 30-year time periods: 2020–2049, 2040–2069 and 2070–2099. Results were compared with a baseline period, 1983–2011. All four hydrological characteristics show steady increases under both RCPs for the entire basin but with considerable spatial heterogeneity and greater increases under RCP 8.5 than RCP 4.5. The results have important implications for the way water resources in the basin are managed. It is imperative that water managers and policy makers take into account the additional challenges imposed by climate change in operating built infrastructure.

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