Planning and management of water resources is crucial to enhance agricultural productivity and ensure food security in drylands. For this, adaptable and reliable runoff prediction models are urgently needed to support water harvesting and irrigation development. In this study we explored the potential of the runoff Curve Number (CN) method to estimate daily surface runoff from representative land use types and management conditions in Tigray (north Ethiopia). For this, we use the National Engineering Handbook (NEH-Tables) to derive CN values for runoff plots treated with and without soil and water conservation (SWC) structures. Moreover, the rainfall-runoff data collected from 21 large (600–1000 m2) runoff plots during three years (2010 to 2012) were used to calculate CN-values. Results show that CN values derived from the NEH-Tables are larger by 21% compared to those values calculated from plot data. The calculated CN values vary widely (34 to 91) in response to land use type, slope gradient, and applied SWC structures. Our results show that land use and SWC structures strongly influence runoff production. Considering plots with otherwise similar characteristics, CN values are consistently larger for rangeland sites as compared to those values for cropland sites. Likewise, SWC structures greatly reduce runoff production and their presence also leads to a clearly lower performance of the CN model. The results of this study are relevant contributions towards addressing several goals of agenda 2063 of the African union either directly or indirectly and also international sustainable development goals (SDG). Based on our analysis and field observations, we propose calibrated CN values that may be used for runoff yield assessments in similar environments.
|Number of pages||19|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2023|
- Curve number method
- Ethiopian highlands
- Water harvesting