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08-06-2021 | Issue 2/2021

Environmental Management 2/2021

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Best Management Practices On Soil Erosion Reduction Using the SWAT Model: for the Case of Gumara Watershed, Abbay (Upper Blue Nile) Basin

Journal:
Environmental Management > Issue 2/2021
Authors:
Temesgen Gashaw, Yihun T. Dile, Abeyou W. Worqlul, Amare Bantider, Gete Zeleke, Woldeamlak Bewket, Tena Alamirew
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Abstract

This study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of best management practices (BMPs) to reduce soil erosion in Gumara watershed of the Abbay (Upper Blue Nile) Basin using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model. The model was calibrated (1995–2002) and validated (2003–2007) using the SWAT-CUP based on observed streamflow and sediment yield data at the watershed outlet. The study evaluated four individual BMP Scenarios; namely, filter strips (FS), stone/soil bunds (SSB), grassed waterways (GW) and reforestation of croplands (RC), and three blended BMP Scenarios, which combines individual BMPS of FS and RC (FS & RC), GW and RC (GW & RC), and SSB and GW (SSB & GW). Mean annual sediment yield at the baseline conditions was estimated at 19.7 t ha−1yr−1, which was reduced by 13.7, 30.5, 16.2 and 25.9% in the FS, SSB, GW, and RC Scenarios, respectively at the watershed scale. The highest reduction efficiency of 34% was achieved through the implementations of the SSB & GW Scenario. The GW & RC, and FS & RC Scenarios reduced the baseline sediment yield by 32% and 29.9%, respectively. The study therefore concluded that the combined Scenarios mainly SSB & GW, and GW & RC can be applied to reduce the high soil erosion in the Gumera watershed, and similar agro-ecological watersheds in Ethiopia. In cases where applying the combined scenarios is not possible, the SSB Scenario can yield significant soil erosion reduction.

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