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Modelling the hydrological balance of the Couffo basin at lanta’s outlet in Benin: a tool for the sustainable use of water and land resources

Author Affiliations

  • 1National Water Institute, Laboratory of Hydraulics and Water Control, INE / UAC, 01 BP 526, Cotonou, Benin
  • 2National Water Institute, Laboratory of Hydraulics and Water Control, INE / UAC, 01 BP 526, Cotonou, Benin
  • 3Africa Rice Center (Africa Rice), 01 BP 2031, Cotonou, Benin
  • 4National Water Institute, Laboratory of Hydraulics and Water Control, INE / UAC, 01 BP 526, Cotonou, Benin

Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., Volume 6, Issue (11), Pages 1-9, November,22 (2017)

Abstract

This modelling study of the hydrological balance was conducted in the Couffo watershed at the outlet of Lanta. The main objective was to contribute to the sustainable water resources management in the basin. The SWAT model was runned to partition the watershed into sub-basins and sub-units called Hydrological Response Unit (HRU). With this model, runoff was assessed by the method of curves number. Soil moisture was evaluated by the method of tracking with storage. Evapotranspiration was assessed with the method of Penman-Monteith. Soil erosion rate was quantified using the Modified version of the Universal Soil Loss Equation. The main data included in the model were Digital Elevation Model (DEM), soil characteristics, land cover, management practices and long term climate data. After the calibration and validation of the model, the adjusted water balance indicated that evapotranspiration and water basin production were respectively 72%and 25% of annual precipitation. Regarding the soil erosion, an average value of 1.45tha-1yr-1was obtained for the watershed. The vegetation in the basin has undergone rapid decline due to loss of natural formations namely the gallery forest, savannah and lakes, in favor of new land for agriculture and urbanization.

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