an Integrated Approach for the Spatial and Temporal Variability Analysis of Wetlands: a Case of Central Rift Valley Lakes, Central Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Alteration in the hydrological system and ecological situation within CER is highly seen from mid 1970s due to both anthropogenic and natural factors. Humans usually and very dramatically accelerate natural processes often unintentionally but usually in the course activities like agriculture, industry and urban development. An attempt has been made to assess and map the spatial and temporal variability of these changes with respect to driving forces and to determine water resource including wetland priority areas for conservation and management purpose based on tendency of the land use and direction of denudation using Remote Sensing and GIS techniques. Landsat satellite images having different sensors, meteorological data, hydrological data are possible data sources were used in order to accomplish the study. Satellite imageries of 1973, 1986, 2000 and 2011 were used to map LULC and change detection analysis. In addition to this, specifically delineation of wetlands and mapping of wetland types using criterion layers satellite imagery analysis has been adopted. The change detection shows a cultivated land is increased by 42% from 1973 to that of 2011, whereas wetlands/water bodies (small part of an area) are reduced by 4% which has great impact on ecological diversity and hydrology of the area. The major possible causes identified for destruction of wetlands, fluctuation of lakes level and its volume within CER are climate variability, poor land use system, imbalance of water inflow and outflow to/from the lakes, deforestation and overgrazing, diversion of river canals and water abstraction for irrigation purpose, water abstraction for soda ash extraction and sedimentation to the lakes. The result from an integration analysis showed that hydrological and ecological system is in a dynamic disequilibrium to which the outlook seems very bad. However, to alleviate these problems the best solution is to create awareness towards wetland ecosystem value for the resident communities and to formulate/regulate policy on wise use of water resources including wetlands for its protection and conservation.



Cer, Lake Abiyata, Langano, Ziway, Lu/Lc, Satellite Imageries, Wetland