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Central University of Technology, Free State (2016)

APPLICATION OF WATER EVALUATION AND ALLOCATION PLANNING (WEAP) MODEL TO ASSESS FUTURE WATER DEMANDS AND WATER BALANCE OF THE CALEDON RIVER BASIN

AYELE, ABEBE SEYOUM

Titre : APPLICATION OF WATER EVALUATION AND ALLOCATION PLANNING (WEAP) MODEL TO ASSESS FUTURE WATER DEMANDS AND WATER BALANCE OF THE CALEDON RIVER BASIN

Auteur : AYELE, ABEBE SEYOUM

Université de soutenance : Central University of Technology, Free State

Grade : Master of Engineering in Civil Engineering 2016

Résumé
The Caledon catchment is one of the 19 catchments in South Africa and three catchments in Lesotho. It covers part of the south eastern Free State in South Africa and northern part of Lesotho. It is important to evaluate the water resources of the catchment to satisfy the projected water demands and in order to plan for the future and make wise decisions. The objective of this study was to apply the Water Evaluation and Planning System version 21 (WEAP21) as a Decision Support System (DSS) tool for the allocation and development of water resources in the Caledon catchment. The model was structured according to three scenarios with a current account (2014) and reference period (2015-2050) to predict their possible impacts on the water balance and allocation of the region due to varied water demands. The scenarios are as follows : scenario 1 : increase in population growth rates ; scenario 2 : irrigation activities in Lesotho ; and scenario 3 : implementation of environmental flow requirement (EFR) on Caledon River at a site referred to as C6. The first two scenarios are consumptive scenarios whereas the third is a non-consumptive scenario. Scenario analysis answers “what if” questions for the future. Population growth has contributed to water scarcity problem in many parts of the world. In this context, scenario 1 deals with the impact of an increase in population growth on the water balance after 2020 by analysing the unmet demands that will be incurred over the reference period. Scenario 2 also analyses the unmet demands if irrigation activities in Lesotho are increased after 2020. Scenario 3 evaluates the impact of the implementation of an EFR site at C6 – which is situated downstream of all demand sites of the catchment – on upstream demands. Projected water demands and unmet demands were evaluated for four water use sectors, namely, domestic, industry, irrigation and livestock. The catchment comprised of 46 demand sites which were categorised into four use sectors : 20 domestic demand sites, 11 irrigation sites, 10 livestock sites and five industrial sites in both rural and urban areas. The modelling results show that high population growth increases the water shortage to all water use sectors in the catchment. Under a high population growth scenario, the unmet demand occurred between May and October. However, under reference, EFR and irrigation scenarios, the unmet demand occurred only from June to September. The annual unmet demand will increase substantially after 2020 in a high population growth scenario and when the population growth rates are altered. The demand from the irrigation sector is covered or no unmet demands are registered in all years. This is because active irrigation activities happen from December to May when enough water is available from the rivers. The years 2025 and 2050 were chosen to evaluate the water balance situations in terms of supply and demand in the middle and at the end of the reference period under two water use scenarios (high population growth and irrigation added). The result shows that the river flows meet the projected demand in 2025. However, most rivers, including the main river (Caledon River), will not be able to meet the required demands in 2050.

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