Predicting the effects of land use on runoff and sediment yield in selected sub-watersheds of the Manupali River using the ArcSWAT model


N.R. Alibuyog; V. B. Ella; M.R. Reyes; R. Srinivasan; C. Heatwole; T. Dillaha

Type of Document:
Scholarly Article


World Association of Soil and Water Conservation (WASWAC)

Date of Publication:

Place of Publication:
Bangkok, Thailand


Abstract: The quantitative prediction of environmental impacts of land use changes in watersheds could serve as basis for developing sound watershed management schemes, especially for Philippine watersheds with agroforestry systems. ArcSWAT, a river basin scale model developed to quantify the impact of land management practices on water, sediment, and agricultural chemical yields, was parameterized and calibrated in selected Manupali River sub-watersheds with an aggregate area of 200 ha to simulate the effects of land use on runoff volumes, sediment yield and streamflows.

Calibration results showed that ArcSWT can adequately predict peaks and temporal variation of runoff volumes and sediment yields with Nash and Sutcliffe coefficient (NSE) ranging from 0.77 to 0.83, respectively. Simulation of land use change scenarios using the calibrated model showed that runoff volume and sediment yield increase by 3% to 14% and 200% to 273%, respectively, when 50% of the pasture area and grasslands are converted to agricultural lands. Consequently, this results to decrease in streamflows by 2.8% to 3.3%, with the higher value indicating a condition of the watershed without soil conservation intervention. More seriously, an increase of 15% to 32% in runoff volume occurs when the whole sub-watershed is converted to agricultural land. This accounts for 39% to 45% of the annual rainfall to be lost as surface runoff.

While simulation results are subject to further validation, this study has demonstrated that the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model can be a useful tool for modeling the impact of land use changes in Philippine watersheds.

Also available as conference proceedings of the First International SWAT Conference in Southeast Asia, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 7-8 January 2009.

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