A HYDROLOGICAL STUDY OF THE KIPKAREN CATCHMENT

Abstract

The Kipkaren catchment is located in Nandi District of Rift Valley Province. The catchment covers three administrative locations namely; Kipkaren, Ndalat and Ngenyilel locations .The Kipkaren River Basin is part of Lake Victoria North Catchment Area (LVN) which is part of the Lake Victoria basin in Kenya. The catchment has an area of about 3234.4km2.The main township in the area is Eldoret town.

Kipkaren catchment was chosen as the study catchment in order to study the rainfall and streamflow data. The study sets four objectives, the first is to derive the seasonal rainfall pattern of the catchment; the second is to determine the average rainfall of the catchment; the third is to estimate the Storage required for the catchment, and the fourth objective is to determine the flow duration and the low flow of the catchment.

In this study, the project assess the storage and flow durations in the catchment for the water resource development in the area. Kipkaren river would be useful for direct water supply. The information can also be used in flood control, energy generation and industrial use since there are industries in the Eldoret Region. Generally, land degradation in the upper parts of the catchment has caused frequent flooding in the lower catchment, as reduced forest cover and an increase in agricultural lands have generally been known to generate high surface runoff.

 

Analysis has also shown that the catchment has two rainy seasons: the short rain season from August to October and the long rain season from– March to May. From low flow analysis it was found out that for 5% low flow will be 9.5 cumecs meaning that for 5% low flow < 9.5 cumecs, 95% of the time the flow will be > 9.5 cumecs. Also from flow duration analysis it was gotten that for 5% low flow of 0.064cumecs, 5% of the time flow < 0.064cumecs and

95% of the time flow > 0.064 cumecs.

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