Flow-Based Structural Modelling And Dynamic Simulation Of Lake Water Levels.
Adero, Nashon Juma
Kiema, John Bosco Kyalo
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The continuing decline in lake water levels is both a concern and daunting challenge to scientists and policymakers in this era, demanding a rethinking of technological and policy interventions in the context of broader political and socio-economic realities. It is self-evident that diverse factors interact in space and time in complex dynamics to cause these water-level changes. However, the major question demanding sound answers is how these factors interact and by what magnitude they affect lake water balance with time. This chapter uses Lake Victoria’s hydrological system to shed light on the extensive and flexible modelling and simulation capabilities availed by modern computer models to understand the bigger picture of water balance dynamics. The study used the 1950-2000 hydrological data and riparian population growth to develop a dynamic simulation model for the lake’s water level. The intuitive structure of the model provided clear insights into the combined influence of the main drivers of the lake’s water balance. The falling lake water levels appeared to be mainly due to dam outflows at the outlet and reduced rainfall over the lake. The ensuing conclusions stressed the need for checks against over-release of lake water for hydropower production and measures for sustainable land and water management in the entire basin.