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Identifying the Impacts of Land Use-Land Cover Changes and Soil Erosion Risk on Water Quality and Watershed Health - A Case Study of River Enderit in Nakuru County, Kenya

Journal: International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR) (Vol.3, No. 9)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ;

Page : 1993-2001

Keywords : Geographical Information System GIS; Remote Sensing; Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation RUSLE; Water quality;

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The effects on water quality and the overall watershed health as a result of land use land cover changes that are normally associated with human activities and natural factors are scarcely documented. Landsat Satellite images collected between the years1986 and 2013 covering various land cover and land use conditions were classified and evaluated. In addition, soil erosion activities within the watershed were analyzed through the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation, RUSLE, in a GIS environment by comparing the erosion risk in 1989 and 2011 thus shedding more light on soil erosion trend and its effects on water quality and the overall watershed health. The results indicate that there has been loss of forest cover by 32 % mainly due to conversion of forestland to cropland. RUSLE analysis indicates that as forest cover is cleared within the watershed so does the erosion risk increase. The water quality results indicated the deterioration of water quality from upstream to downstream. The combined effect of the deteriorating water quality, loss of forest cover and the increased erosion risk shows that River Enderit watershed health is at risk.

Last modified: 2021-06-30 21:07:44