Simulation of the Effect of Land Cover Change on Water Balance and Sediment Yield of Wadi El Raml in the North Western Coast, Egypt

Ashraf N. El-Sadek and Ahmed H. Mohamed

Rainfed farming in the North Western Coast of Egypt represents the major source of food for the majority of the local Bedouins. Population growth associated with limited resources pushed the local Bedouins to alter their lands to move from rangelands to rainfed agriculture. In this study,  i.e., wadi El Raml the Sentinel 2A image launched in 2014 was used to define the main land cover types dominating the study area. The classified image showed six land cover classes i.e. water bodies (1.15%), urban land (11.43%), orchard trees (10.42%), rainfed crops (15.80%), sparsely vegetated land (34.81%) and bare soil (26.03%). The downstream impact of changing land cover in the upstream of Wadi El Raml was simulated using the semi distributed KINEROS2 model. Three assumed scenarios were tested; 1) converting the rangeland to rainfed agriculture of winter crops, 2) converting the bare soil to range land and 3) the base simulation which is the current situation. The primary results revealed that, overall the tested rain events changing the land cover type from rangelands to rainfed agriculture increased the basin average surface runoff and sediment yield by 6.39-15.37% and 16.29 - 36.45 %, respectively. It is recommended that a limited area should be converted from rangelands to rainfed agriculture.


Key words: Hydrological Modeling, Rangeland, Land use changes, Remote sensing