Predicting the impact of land cover and climate change on hydrologic responses using modeling tools are essential in understanding the movement and pattern of hydrologic processes within the watershed. The paper provided potential implications of land conversions and climate change scenarios on the hydrologic processes of Muleta watershed using soil and water assessment tool model. Model inputs used include interferometric synthetic aperture radar-digital elevation model, 2016 land cover map, soil map, meteorological and hydrologic data. The model was calibrated using appropriate statistical parameters (R2=0.80, NS=0.80 and RSR=0.45). Model validation using observed streamflow with the same statistical parameters (R2 = 0.79, NS = 0.67 and RSR = 0.57) showed that the result was statistically acceptable. The model provided potential implications of land conversions and climate change adversely affecting hydrologic processes of critical watersheds. Climate change projections with a 13% decrease in rainfall directly influenced the decrease in hydrologic processes. Meanwhile, urbanization had influenced the increase in surface runoff, evapotranspiration, and baseflow. The increase of forest vegetation resulted in a minimal decrease in baseflow and surface runoff. The watershed hydrologic processes were influenced by changes in land cover and climate. Results of this study are useful by the localities and policy makers in coming up with a more informed decision relative to the issues and concern on hydrological responses in the uplands.
- The SWAT model effectively simulate land cover and climate change impacts on hydrologic processes of Muleta watershed
- The decrease in rainfall projections directly influenced the decrease in hydrologic processes
- Increase in urban areas influenced the increase in surface runoff, evapotranspiration and baseflow
- Increased forest vegetation decreases surface runoff.