WIT Press

Catchment Hydrology Management Using GIS: Case Study Of The Modder River Basin, South Africa


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WIT Press


E. Pretorius, O. J. Gericke, S. W. Slabbert & M. Dent


Water is constantly flowing through the landscape in response to weather events and most often, in the form of streams and rivers. This water flow carries micro-organisms, dissolved chemicals and sediment, which define water quality. We need to understand these flow- and quality-patterns and how they change in order to properly manage the water resources of river basins. Hydrological analysis and modelling of water flow and quality are provided by hydrological simulation models, whilst GIS describes the physical environment through which the water flows. Integrating hydrological modelling and GIS involves connecting geospatial data, which describe the physical environment, with hydrological process models, which explains how water moves through the environment. Even though there is a significant synergy between geospatial and temporal water resources information, it is difficult to capture because, up to now, the data (geospatial and temporal) have been held in different formats and archiving environments. One of the aims of this project was therefore to create a geodatabase (GBase) where geospatial and temporal data are captured and stored in one environment. Another aim was to achieve communication and data exchange between GBase, HYDSTRA, a hydrological database and BASINS, an environmental analysis system. The overall purpose, however, was to create an integrated platform, including the above programmes, to provide tools to pre-process data for different independent models, which can then be used to investigate the impact of changes or developments in the river basin. The Modder River Basin, which forms part of the Upper Orange Water Management Area in South Africa, was used as study area. Keywords: river basin management, information systems, geodatabase, hydrological modelling, GIS.


river basin management, information systems, geodatabase,hydrological modelling, GIS.