Water Resources Management

, Volume 33, Issue 12, pp 4087–4103 | Cite as

Impact of Land Use Land Cover (LULC) Change on Surface Runoff in an Increasingly Urbanized Tropical Watershed

  • Ike Sari Astuti
  • Kamalakanta SahooEmail author
  • Adam Milewski
  • Deepak R. Mishra


Upper-Brantas watershed in East Java, Indonesia, is a tropical watershed experiencing rapid landscape change, a phenomenon typical to developing countries. This study demonstrates the impact of Land Use Land Cover (LULC) changes on surface runoff in a tropical, urbanized, and data scarce watershed. The LULC changes were quantified between 1995 and 2015 and their impact on the hydrological processes was analyzed using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model. During the study period, the watershed experienced an increase in settlement and dryland agriculture, and a decrease in the forest, rice field, and sugarcane plantation. The SWAT model results for the calibration (2003–2008) and validation (2009–2013) periods matched observed values [R2 > 0.91 and NSE (Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency) >0.91]. In the long-term, the model predicted changes in runoff (+8%), water yield (+0.28%), groundwater (−1.8%), and evapotranspiration (−1.15%) due to changes in LULC. LULC changes showed a linear relationship with runoff generation, and the most significant factors affecting surface runoff were changes in the forest, agriculture, and settlements. Increasing urbanization, industrialization, and agricultural intensification will increase runoff which in turn will enhance the flow of nutrients and sediments into the water bodies.


Hydrological modeling Water balance SWAT Water quality Indonesia 



We gratefully acknowledge the Fulbright Exchange Program for Indonesia because of which the first author was able to pursue a PhD program at the Department of Geography, University of Georgia, USA.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11269_2019_2320_MOESM1_ESM.docx (816 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 815 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeographyUniversitas Negeri MalangJawa TimurIndonesia
  3. 3.College of EngineeringUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  4. 4.Forest Products LaboratoryUnited States Forest ServiceMadisonUSA
  5. 5.Department of Geology, Water Resources & Remote Sensing Group (WRRS)University of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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