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Accueil du site → Doctorat → Afrique du Sud → 2001 → Hydrological modelling applications for water resources management in the Mkomazi Catchment.

University of KwaZulu-Natal (2001)

Hydrological modelling applications for water resources management in the Mkomazi Catchment.

Taylor, Valerie.

Titre : Hydrological modelling applications for water resources management in the Mkomazi Catchment.

Auteur : Taylor, Valerie.

Université de soutenance : University of KwaZulu-Natal

Grade : Master of Science in the School ofBioresources Engineering and Environmental Hydrology 2001

Résumé partiel
Predictions that water shortages will constrain economic growth in South Africa by 2025 have led to increased concerns among water resource managers that there is a need for comprehensive water management strategies. To this extent the new South African Water Act requires that water resource allocation be approached in a more equitable and conservative way than in the past in order to sustain water resources for catchment development. This includes protection of the water resource base by the setting aside of a health Reserve for basic human needs and for the ecological functioning of rivers. At a time when water resource management is shifting from the practice of large dam construction to reconciling water demand with water supply in more holistic strategies, the Mkomazi Catchment in KwaZulu-Natal provides an opportunity to investigate some of the major issues that dominate contemporary water resource management. Presently (2001), there are no impoundments on the Mkomazi River and the catchment is generally underdeveloped. These factors have provided the impetus for the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry’s proposed inter-basin transfer scheme to use the surplus flow in the Mkomazi Catchment to augment the water resources of the neighbouring Mgeni system. Impact-of-Iand-use and development scenario studies, using the ACRU agrohydrological modelling system, were performed to simulate the impacts of (a) baseline land cover, (b) present land use, (c) the first phase of the Mkomazi-Mgeni Transfer Scheme and (d) potential climate change on the hydrological dynamics of the Mkomazi Catchment. The results indicate that the change from baseline land cover conditions to present land use conditions has little impact on the annual water resources of the Mkomazi River. This is especially so in the upper catchment where there is little anthropogenic development and from where the planned inter-basin transfer will be made from the proposed Smithfield Dam. Although the impacts of commercial forestry and irrigation in the middle and lower catchment impose local stress on streamflow generation, they do not detract substantially from the main downstream flows. Evaluation of the impacts of the proposed Smithfield Dam on annual streamflow generation revealed that there is more than sufficient water in the upper Mkomazi Catchment to sustain the inter-basin transfer under present climatic conditions.

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