Characterisation of hydroclimatological trends and variability in the Lake Naivasha basin, Kenya

V.O. Odongo*, C. van der Tol, P.R. van Oel, F.M. Meins, R. Becht, J.O. Onyando, Z. Su

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Recent hydro-climatological trends and variability characteristics were investigated for the Lake Naivasha basin with the aim of understanding the changes in water balance components and their evolution over the past 50¿years. Using a Bayesian change point analysis and modified Mann–Kendall tests, time series of annual mean, maximum, minimum, and seasonal precipitation and flow, as well as annual mean lake volumes, were analysed for the period 1960–2010 to uncover possible abrupt shifts and gradual trends. Double cumulative curve analysis was used to investigate the changes in hydrological response attributable to either human influence or climatic variability. The results indicate a significant decline in lake volumes at a mean rate of 9.35¿×¿106¿m3¿year-1. Most of the river gauging stations showed no evidence of trends in the annual mean and maximum flows as well as seasonal flows. Annual minimum flows, however, showed abrupt shifts and significant (upward/downward) trends at the main outlet stations. Precipitation in the basin showed no evidence of abrupt shifts, but a few stations showed gradual decline. The observed changes in precipitation could not explain the decline in both minimum flows and lake volumes. The findings show no evidence of any impact of climate change for the Lake Naivasha basin over the past 50¿years. This implies that other factors, such as changes in land cover and infrastructure development, have been responsible for the observed changes in streamflow and lake volumes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3276-3293
Number of pages18
JournalHydrological Processes
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • long-term persistence
  • time-series
  • hurst phenomenon
  • climatic-change
  • impact
  • identification
  • hydrology
  • ethiopia
  • water
  • precipitation


Dive into the research topics of 'Characterisation of hydroclimatological trends and variability in the Lake Naivasha basin, Kenya'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this