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Forest Cover and Stream Flow in a Headwater of the Blue Nile: Complementing Observational Data Analysis with Community Perception

Solomon Gebreyohannis Gebrehiwot, Ayele Taye and Kevin Bishop
Ambio
Vol. 39, No. 4 (June 2010), pp. 284-294
Published by: Springer on behalf of Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40928387
Page Count: 11
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Forest Cover and Stream Flow in a Headwater of the Blue Nile: Complementing Observational Data Analysis with Community Perception
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Abstract

This study analyses the relation of forest cover and stream flow on the 266 km² Koga watershed in a headwater of Blue Nile Basin using both observed hydrological data and community perception. The watershed declined from 16% forest cover in 1957 to 1% by 1986. The hydrological record did not reveal changes in the flow regime between 1960 and 2002 despite the reduction in forest area. This agrees with the perception of the downstream community living near the gauging station. The upstream community, however, reported both decreases in low flows and increases in high flows shortly after the forest cover was reduced. The upstream deforestation effect appeared to have been buffered by a wetland lower in the watershed. This study concludes that community perception can be a complement to observational data for better understanding how forest cover influences the flow regime.

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