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Impact of Land Use on River Basin Water Balance: A Case Study of the Modder River Basin, South Africa

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Woyessa, Y. E.; Pretorius, E.; van Heerden, Pieter; Hensley, M.; van Rensburg, L. D.
Date: 2006
Agency: Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Series: Comprehensive Assessment Research Report 12
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/4630
Sector: Agriculture
Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: Africa
Subject(s): river basins
water management
land tenure and use
economic development
Abstract: "The study was conducted in the Upper and Middle Modder River Basin (UMMRB) which is located in the semi-arid area of central South Africa. About 35 percent of the basin consists of a communal-farming area where subsistence farmers have difficulty in growing enough food for themselves because of the marginal conditions for crop production. The limiting factors are low and erratic rainfall and excessive water losses due to runoff and evaporation from the predominantly duplex and clay soils. In an attempt to improve the crop production potential of the area the Institute for Soil, Climate and Water of the Agricultural Research Council (ARC-ISCW) introduced a crop production technique called the Infield Rainwater Harvesting (IRWH), which increased the yields of maize and sunflower by around 30–50 percent compared to the yield obtained through conventional tillage."

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