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Impact of Land Use/Cover Changes on the Flow of the Zarqa River in Jordan
 
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Water, Energy and Environment Center, The University of Jordan, Amman 11942, Jordan
2
School of Engineering, The University of Jordan, Amman 11942, Jordan
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School of Agriculture, The University of Jordan, Amman 11942, Jordan
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Maisa'a W. Shammout   

Water, Energy and Environment Center, The University of Jordan, Amman 11942, Jordan
Publication date: 2021-11-01
 
J. Ecol. Eng. 2021; 22(10):40–50
 
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ABSTRACT
This paper investigated the impact of land use/cover changes on the flow of the Zarqa River in Jordan over a period of twenty-eight years. The land use/cover maps were derived using a set of medium spatial images with full scenes for the years 1989, 2002, 2011 and 2017. These images correspond to the river flow data for the same hydrological rainy seasons. The component of the river flow consists of the base-flow, flood and contribution of effluent from treatment plants. Base-flow was separated from hydrographs and effluent contribution was obtained. Runoff coefficient was determined as the ratio of flood volume to rainfall volume. The land use/cover maps were classified as urban fabrics, bare rocks, open rangelands and bare soils, agricultural areas, agro-forestry, and water bodies. During the study period, urban areas increased from 4.87% to 16.14%, and agricultural areas increased from 21.69% to 31.66%. The areas of rangelands and bare soil decreased from 34.91% to 22.57% and bare rocks from 35.98% to 27.57%, respectively. The increase in urban and agricultural areas resulted in runoff coefficient improvement from 1.89% in 1989/1990 to 2.72% for 2016/2017. The results could be useful for planners and decision makers for future flow management in the Zarqa River Basin. The approach and results of this study confirm the findings of similar studies for land and water management.