Understanding the Impacts of Climate Change in the Tana River Basin, Kenya
Nishchitha, Sandeepana S
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In the Tana River Basin in Kenya, six Regional Circulation Models (RCMs) simulating two Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) (i.e., 4.5 and 8.5) were used as input to the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model to determine the possible implications for the hydrology and water resources of the basin. Four hydrological characteristics – water yield, groundwater recharge, base flow and flow regulation – were determined and mapped throughout the basin for three 30-year time periods: 2020–2049, 2040–2069 and 2070–2099. Results were compared with a baseline period, 1983–2011. All four hydrological characteristics show steady increases under both RCPs for the entire basin but with considerable spatial heterogeneity and greater increases under RCP 8.5 than RCP 4.5. The results have important implications for the way water resources in the basin are managed. It is imperative that water managers and policy makers take into account the additional challenges imposed by climate change in operating built infrastructure.
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