Rainfall, Runoff and Soil loss, relationship on different land uses in the Upper Lake Tana Basin

  • Amare Tsige Genet Researcher Adet Agricultural Research Center Ethiopia
  • Mesenbet Yibeltal Sebhat Senior Lecturer in Hydrology Blue Nile Water Institute, Bahir Dar University Ethiopia


Understanding the basic relationships between rainfall, runoff and soil loss are crucial task for effective management and utilization of natural resource. Hence, modeling the relationship between rainfall, runoff, and soil loss for climatic conditions prevailing in the Upper Lake Tana basin is a crucial task. The watershed instrumented with raingauge and rectangular weir to measure important parameters. Soil infiltration rate exceeded 9.4% of the time by the rainfall intensity, in which infiltration excess runoff is not a dominant runoff mechanism. A simple sediment model was developed. It predicts sediment with Nash Sutcliffe coefficient (E) and the coefficient of correlation (R2) of observed and simulated runoff is 0.9 to 0.91 and 0.88 to 0.96 for validation. The model predicted event based surface runoff with reasonable accuracy, this noticeable model's performance showed probably due to the applicability of the model to estimate sediment loss despite the smaller data size. Keywords: Modeling, Runoff, Sediment loss, Grazing land

Author Biography

Mesenbet Yibeltal Sebhat, Senior Lecturer in Hydrology Blue Nile Water Institute, Bahir Dar University Ethiopia
Water Resources and Irrigation Management


Asrie N., Sebhat M., 2016. Numerical groundwater flow modeling of the northern river catchment of the Lake Tana, Upper Blue Basin, Ethiopia. Journal of Agriculture and Environment for International Development (JAEID). Jun 27;110(1):5-26.

Awulachew S., McCartney M., Steenhuis T., Ahmed A., 2009. A review of hydrology, sediment and water resource use in the Blue Nile Basin (Vol. 131). IWMI.

Bayabil H., Tilahun S., Collick A., Yitaferu B., Steenhuis T., 2010. Are runoff processes ecologically or topographically driven in the (sub) humid Ethiopian highlands? The case of the Maybar watershed. Ecohydrology, 3(4), 457-466.

BCEOM, 1999. Abbay River Basin Integrated Development Master Plan Project, PhaseII, Data Collection-Site Investigation Survey and Analysis ,Volume IX, Land Resource Development Agricalture. Semi-Detailed Soil Survey

Beven K., 2004. "Infiltration excess at the Horton Hydrology Laboratory (or not?)." Journal of Hydrology 293.1: 219-234.

Cleveland T., David B., Xing F., 2011. Use of the rational and modified rational method for hydraulic design. No. FHWA/TX–08/0–6070–1.

David J., James P., 2006. "Integrated management of irrigation and urban storm-water infiltration." Journal of water resources planning and management 132.5: 362-373.

Derib S., 2005. Rainfall-runoff Processes at a Hillslope Watershed: Case of Simple Models Evaluation at Kori-Sheleko Catchment of Ethiopia. Sl: sn.

Descheemaeker K., Nyssen J., Rossi J., Poesen J., Haile M., Raes D., Muys B., Moeyersons J., Deckers S., 2006. Sediment deposition and pedogenesis in exclosures in the Tigray Highlands, Ethiopia. Geoderma, 132(3), 291-314.

Engda T., 2009. Modeling rainfall, runoff and soil loss relationships in the northeastern highlands of Ethiopia, andit tid watershed. Diss. Cornell University.

FAO/UNEP, 1984. Map of Desertification Hazards: explanatory note. Nairobi, Kenya: United Nations Environment Programme. 14 pp.

Hudson N., 1982. Soil Conservation. Batsford Ltd. London. 324p.

Hurni H., 1985. "Erosion-productivity-conservation systems in Ethiopia." : 654-674.

Legates D., Gregory J., 1999. "Evaluating the use of “goodness‐of‐fit” measures in hydrologic and hydroclimatic model validation." Water resources research 35.1: 233-241.

McCuen R., Zachary K., Gillian C., 2006. "Evaluation of the Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency index." Journal of Hydrologic Engineering 11.6: 597-602.

Nash J., Sutcliffe J., 1971. River flow forecasting through conceptual models. J. Hydrol.,13: 297-324.

Nyssen J., Clymans W., Descheemaeker K., Poesen J., Vandecasteele I., Vanmaercke M., Moeyersons J., 2010. Impact of soil and water conservation measures on catchment hydrological response—a case in north Ethiopia. Hydrological Processes, 24(13), 1880-1895.

Pimentel D., Harvey C., Resosudarmo P., Sinclair K., 1995. Environmental and economic costs of soil erosion and conservation benefits. Science, 267(5201), 1117.

Phillips J., 1989. "Hillslope and channel sediment delivery and impacts of soil erosion on water resources." IAHS-AISH publication 184: 183-190.

Sadeghi S., Takahisa M., Babak G., 2007. "Conformity of MUSLE estimates and erosion plot data for storm-wise sediment yield estimation." Terrestrial, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences 18.1: 117-128.

Saleh A., Arnold J., Gassman P., Hauck L., Rosenthal W., Williams J., McFarland A., 2000. Application of SWAT for the upper North Bosque River watershed. Transactions of the ASAE, 43(5), 1077-1087.

Tefera B., 2006. Performance evaluation of Micro earth Dam in Amhara region.

Tilahun S., 2012. Observations and modeling of erosion from spatially and temporally distributed sources in the (semi) humid Ethiopian highlands. Diss. Cornell University.

Tilahun S., Guzman C., Zegeye A., Dagnew D., Collick A., Yitaferu B., Steenhuis T., 2015. Distributed discharge and sediment concentration predictions in the sub‐humid Ethiopian highlands: the Debre Mawi watershed. Hydrological Processes, 29(7), 1817-1828.

Vanmaercke M., Poesen J., Maetens W., de Vente J., Verstraeten G., 2011. Sediment yield as a desertification risk indicator. Science of the Total Environment, 409(9), 1715-1725.

How to Cite
Genet, A., & Sebhat, M. (2018). Rainfall, Runoff and Soil loss, relationship on different land uses in the Upper Lake Tana Basin. Journal of Agriculture and Environment for International Development (JAEID), 112(1), 3-23. https://doi.org/10.12895/jaeid.20181.642
Research Papers