Inderscience Publishers

Assessing the impact of land use change on stream flow in a semi–urban river basin, Maharashtra, India

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Historical hydrological data and satellite images acquired over a relatively large river basin were analysed to investigate the impact of the land use/land cover changes on stream flow during 1985 to 2004. Rainfall (from 16 rain gauge stations), stream flow (near basin outlet), and multi–temporal Earth observation (EO) satellite images were used to assess the impact of land use change on stream flow in a semi–urban river basin. The study revealed that stream flow pattern has been reduced significantly due to agricultural intensification in the basin supported by construction of dams and reservoirs in the high rainfall region. Moreover, increase in domestic and industrial water demand as well as various watershed developmental activities has contributed to stream flow reduction in the basin.

Keywords: GIS, stream flow, Upper Bhima basin, object–based image analysis, MK test, land use changes, land cover, semi–urban river basins, India, hydrological data, satellite images, agricultural intensification, dams, reservoirs, water demand, flow reduction

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