Regional Environmental Change

, Volume 15, Issue 7, pp 1269–1280 | Cite as

The effects of climate and changing land use on the discharge regime of a small catchment in Tanzania

  • Marco Natkhin
  • Ottfried Dietrich
  • Meike Pendo Schäfer
  • Gunnar Lischeid
Original Article


Increasing pressure on water resources makes it necessary to understand the reasons for the changes in the run-off characteristic of the Ngerengere River in Tanzania during recent years. Changing land use and changes in climate boundaries are identified as effects. A combination of statistical analysis and the use of the hydrological model SWAT were chosen to handle the problem of poor data quantity and quality with non-overlapping periods. Changes in the discharge regime were identified with the 5th percentile of the flow duration curve as an indicator for high-flow events, with an indicator for low-flow duration and with the base flow index. The analysis showed that climate boundaries and changing land use do not have a uniform effect on discharge in the catchment. Changing land use affects surface run-off and increases floods in the mountainous areas. Changes in climate boundaries increase the duration of low flow and no flow in the Ngerengere catchment. Changes in climate conditions and land use had antipodal effects on parts of the discharge regime. Thus, the observed changes in land use and climate conditions partially compensate for each other.


Ngerengere catchment SWAT Flow duration curve Base flow index 



The work reported here was undertaken as part of the project ”Resilient Agro-landscapes to Climate Change in Tanzania (ReACCT)” funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) under a Research Program: “Adaptation of African Agriculture to Climate Change”. The authors would like to thank the WRBWO, TMA, Sokoine University of Agriculture and University of Dar es Salam for their support.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marco Natkhin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ottfried Dietrich
    • 1
  • Meike Pendo Schäfer
    • 1
  • Gunnar Lischeid
    • 1
  1. 1.Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape ResearchMünchebergGermany
  2. 2.Thünen-Institute for Forest EcosystemsEberswaldeGermany

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