This study investigates the influence of changes in spatial urbanization on the hydrological processes of Upper Bhima River basin of Maharashtra state, India using Soil and Water Assessment Tool hydrological model based simulations. The simulated and observed monthly stream flow rates at the basin outlet were compared for calibration (1985–2004) and validation (2005–2014) of the SWAT model. For both the periods, Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency values were > 0.70, root mean square error observations standard deviation ratio (RSR) values were < 0.50 and percent bias values were < 10. Hence, with coefficient of determination (R2) of 0.89 and 0.96 both the periods showed good agreement between simulated and observed stream flow rates. Urbanization indicators viz. population urbanization level (U p ) and spatial urbanization level (U s ) were estimated to quantify the growth patterns in population and urban areas respectively. Further, correlation analysis and Multivariate analysis of variance were performed between U s and hydrological variables to study the influence of spatial urbanization on hydrological components for comprehending the existing relationships between them. Results reveal that from 1992 to 2014 with increase in U s of 1.44 to 6.31, the average annual surface runoff increased from 438.22 to 448.61 mm [standard deviation (σ) = 4.40; sum of squares (SS) = 58.20], whereas percolation decreased from 153.53 to 139.08 mm (σ = 6.06; SS = 110.10). These hydrological parameters are highly influenced by increase in urbanization. This study is relevant for water sources planners and policy makers for assessment of water resources for sustainable development in the urbanizing semi-arid river basins.
Modeling Earth Systems and Environment – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 31, 2018
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