Maqueda, Axayácatl; Jianhong Ren; Lozano, Fabián
January 2008
Journal of Environmental Hydrology;2008, Vol. 16, p1
Academic Journal
This project evaluates the effect of potential land cover change on surface runoff generation in the San Juan River Watershed caused by population growth. A GIS based computer model, the Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment Tool (AGWA), was used. Historical land cover type and river flow data available for the San Juan River watershed were used as model inputs and for model calibration, respectively. The computer model discretizes the watershed into six small units and predicts the watershed hydrology for future land cover conditions. Simulation results show minor changes in water flows at the watershed scale through the study period because subwatersheds that have land cover change make up only 23.5% of the study area. All the impact is concentrated in two subdivided regions (the urban areas and the Huajuco Canyon regions). In the urban areas, there is an increase up to 63.5% in surface flow when the area covered by the impervious surfaces grows 18.7% by 2020. For the Huajuco Canyon, there is a similar tendency. Flood hazard may increase due to increases in surface runoff during the wet season. There may be a local scarcity of surface water due to the dramatic decrease in percolation and baseflow during the dry season in the Huajuco Canyon and urban areas. The land cover change effect during an extreme rainfall event was evaluated using the rainfall event that occurred during Hurricane Gilbert in 1998. Simulation results show that land cover has a minimum influence on the volume of surface flow produced by this rainfall event.


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