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The effects of Jonglei Canal operation scenarios on the Sudd swamps in Southern Sudan

Lamberts, Erwin (2009) The effects of Jonglei Canal operation scenarios on the Sudd swamps in Southern Sudan.

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Abstract:The Sudd, one of the largest wetland areas in the world, is faced by huge evapotranspiration rates. More than 50 % of the Sudd inflow is evaporated out of the Sudd swamps, resulting in less water availability in the downstream areas. To gain extra water downstream, planners have proposed to dig a canal (Jonglei canal) around to Sudd area, to save an extra 4.8 Gm3/year. What the effects of the swamps in the Sudd area will be, are still relatively unknown. In this thesis the effects on the Sudd swamp will be studied based on several Jonglei Canal scenarios. In the first phase of the study the historical monthly water balance for the period 1961 – 2000 has been simulated. This is done by creating a hydrological model based on the water balance made by Sutcliffe & Parks (1987). This model describes the Sudd as a reservoir, where the input comes from the precipitation and the inflow, and the output from the evapotranspiration and the outflow. To simulate the water balance, several data sets had to be collected. The first data set is the precipitation data in the Sudd area. This data was collected at the Global Precipitation Climatology Centre (GPCC). The next data set is the evapotranspiration data. This data was simulated with the use of the ET0 calculator (FAO, 2009). The ET0 calculator uses the Penman-Monteith equation for the calculation of the evapotranspiration. The input for the calculator is collected at the measurement stations at Juba and Malakal for the temperature, relative humidity and the sunshine hours. The inflow data set is collected at the measurement stations Mongalla simulated in the RIBASIM model. The RIBASIM model simulates the monthly water flows for several measurement stations in the Nile basin. The outflow for the Sudd is based on the flows at the stations Malakal and Doleib Hill. The outflow is described as the flow of Malakal minus the flow at Doleib Hill. The data for the period 1961 – 1983 has been measured and the data for the period 1983 – 2000 will be simulated by a regression equation between the flows at Malakal and Doleib Hill. When all the data sets were collected, the historical water balance for the Sudd could be simulated. The results from the water balance show that the swamp sizes in the period 1961 – 1964 increased by almost 300 % from 15 Gm2 to around 60 Gm2. In the period 1965 – 1978 the swamp sizes recovers to around 42 Gm3 where it slightly decreased to 35 Gm2 until 1978. In the period 1979 – 1981 the swamps show a sudden size increase. This is caused by a high increase in the precipitation in that period. In the last period until 2000 the Sudd swamps fluctuates around 30 Gm2. The second phase of the study several Jonglei canal scenarios have been tested. The scenarios are placed in three groups: fixed canal flows, seasonal dependent canal flows and flows where the extra water volume downstream of the Sudd will be 4.8 Gm3/year. For the simulation of the swamps with the canal flows some variables needed to be adjusted. The inflow will now be decreased by the flow through the canal. The evapotranspiration will change under influence from a changing relative humidity as a result of the drained area. At last the outflow will change. The Sudd outflow is linear related to the swamp area where there will be a division in a dry period relation and a wet period relation. The results from the fixed canal flows show a high linear relation between the flows and the change in the permanent (16 – 26 %), seasonal (13 – 22 %) and total swamp (15 – 25 %). The effects on the permanent swamp will be the highest, followed by the total swamp and at last the seasonal swamp. The effects with seasonal dependent canal flows will be the highest on the size of seasonal swamp. The change on the permanent swamp depends mainly on the total The effects of Jonglei Canal operation scenarios on the Sudd swamps in Southern Sudan 5 yearly flow. When this total is high, the decrease of the permanent swamp will also be high. The change on the seasonal swamp depends on the size of the canal flow in the wet period. When this is high, the decrease of the seasonal swamp will also be high. The change on the total swamp depends, just like the permanent swamp, on the total yearly flow. To create 4.8 Gm3/year water downstream of the Sudd, the average canal flow need to be 18 Mm3/day. The scenario, a canal flow of 10 Mm3/day in the dry period and 26 Mm3/day in the wet period, has the highest influence on the total swamp, almost 26 %. The same scenario has the highest influence on the seasonal swamp. The scenario, a canal flow of 26 Mm3/day in the dry period and 10 Mm3/day in the wet period, has the highest influence on the permanent swamp, although the difference between the scenarios is small.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:56 civil engineering
Programme:Civil Engineering and Management MSc (60026)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/59163
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