Discovery Day Gower

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Mpala Research Centre Discovery Day 2014

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  • 1,217 square kilometer catchment. Forms part of the Ewaso Nyiro River basin. Drains Mount Kenya, over 5,000masl and 2nd highest mountain in Africa, and parts of the Laikipia Plateau. Contains several villages and two larger towns: Nayuki and Timau.
  • Rainfall decreases drastically with drops in elevation (almost 1,000 mm/yr from upper slopes to savanna): 1,600mm to 700 mm to 500 mm
  • Rainfall primarily occurs during two rainy seasons throughout the year
  • Population growth rates from 4% to 8% have caused irrigated area in WN Basin to increase from 227ha to 4088 ha during 1969-1999 (almost 20-fold)
  • Low flows in the downstream areas hit the most vulnerable populations
  • Some sources show rainfall decreasing and temperatures increasing
  • Flow data from the Miarage Water Project in the Likii WRUA. Provides a baseline of the amount of water available for individual households.
  • To determine water use, rationing and conservation strategies at the different levels in the catchment
  • Discovery Day Gower

    1. 1. Exploring the relationship between water availability and small-scale agricultural systems near Mount Kenya Drew Gower; Advisor: Dr. Kelly Caylor Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Princeton University
    2. 2. Nanyuki Catchment MRC
    3. 3. Hydrologic Variability Source: Weismann et al., 2000
    4. 4. Irrigated Agriculture • Hydrologic variability offset by irrigation using river water • Supports a range of operations from export- driven large farms to household gardens producing food for domestic consumption. • Large farms draw water from the rivers through separate irrigation systems and are buffered by boreholes and reservoirs • Households receive water for irrigation and domestic use through community water projects
    5. 5. Source: Aeshbacher et al., 2005
    6. 6. Source: Gichuki, 2004
    7. 7. Climate Change Impacts Source: USGS, 2010
    8. 8. Research Questions • What is the current and past distribution of dry season irrigation use in the Nanyuki Catchment? • What populations are currently most dependent on irrigation use for their livelihoods? • How might climate change affect water availability and livelihoods in the Nanyuki Catchment? • What factors affect the resilience of dryland agricultural systems generally?
    9. 9. Previous Work • Conducted weekly flow measurements in 10 to 20 households in 25 projects • Consisted of recording the amount of time needed for water to fill an 18 liter bucket • Lasted between 5 and 6 months, depending on the project • Also recorded amount and type of water use at one household per project
    10. 10. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 FlowRate(liters/minute) 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 FlowRate(liters/minute) Kaga Water Project Maka Water Project Source: Paul McCord (Personal Communication) Week
    11. 11. Household and Manager Surveys • More than 1,050 household- level surveys on water use, agricultural practices, cropping strategies, and demographic information • Eighty water project-level manager surveys on rule formation, water rotation strategies, and water project infrastructure
    12. 12. Ongoing Work • Weekly stream gauging and isotopic sampling at 10 locations in the Nanyuki Catchment • Weekly collection of natural and agricultural vegetation samples for isotopic analysis • Helping projects to upgrade their master meters to collect project-level flow information
    13. 13. Current Gauge Station Proposed Gauge Station MRC
    14. 14. Socio-hydrologic Model Hydrologic Model Crop Model Agent-Based Model • Composed of a conceptual hydrologic model, an agent-based model and a crop model • Validated with hydrologic measurements and distribution of agricultural yields • Used to investigate socio- hydrologic outcomes of climate and land use change • Outcomes evaluated by total crop yield and fraction of users above a minimum threshold of water availability
    15. 15. Acknowledgements This research was supported by the National Science Foundation, Grant No. 1115009. I’d also like to thank the following people for their advice and assistance: • Dr. Kelly Caylor (Princeton University) • Sally Goodman (Princeton University) • Eliza Harkins (Princeton University) • John Gitonga (Mpala Research Center) • Dr. Tom Evans (Indiana University) • Paul McCord (Indiana University • Dr. Jampel Dell’Angelo (Indiana University) • Mengistu Seketedi (Lewa Wildlife Conservancy) • Linden McBride (Cornell University)
    16. 16. Questions?

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