Nyangores River watershed, headwater catchment of Mara River basin in Kenya.
Climate variability and human activities are the main drivers of change of watershed hydrology. The contribution of climate variability and land use change to change in streamflow of Nyangores River, was investigated. Mann Kendall and sequential Mann Kendall tests were used to investigate the presence and breakpoint of a trend in discharge data (1965–2007) respectively. The Budyko framework was used to separate the respective contribution of drivers to change in discharge. Future response of the watershed to climate change was predicted using the runoff sensitivity equation developed.
New hydrological insights for the region
There was a significant increasing trend in the discharge with a breakpoint in 1977. Land use change was found to be the main driver of change in discharge accounting for 97.5% of the change. Climate variability only caused a net increase of the remaining 2.5% of the change; which was caused by counter impacts on discharge of increase in rainfall (increased discharge by 24%) and increase in potential evapotranspiration (decreased discharge by 21.5%). Climate change was predicted to cause a moderate 16% and 15% increase in streamflow in the next 20 and 50 years respectively. Change in discharge was specifically attributed to deforestation at the headwaters of the watershed.