Watershed Contribution for Ecosystem Balance

Seminar Paper, 2021

18 Pages, Grade: 4


Table of content


Table of content


Definition of terms


1.1. Background and justification
1.2. General Objective

2.1. Vital signs of a healthy, resilient watershed
2.2. Soil Ecosystems and Erosion Mitigation efforts of IWM

3. Carbon Sequestration to Mitigate Climate Change
3.1. Importance of IWM in Carbon Sequestration to Mitigate Climate Change
3.4. Conclusions

4. Recommendation



Above all I thank the LORD GOD for giving me the strength to start and go through with my Review paper. I would particularly like to extend my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to may advisor Mir Musa Abdullah Ibro for his devotion of his precious time, valuable suggestions,and constructive comments and systematic guidance to improve the content of this paper.He also deserves my utmost gratitude for his encouragement, on time responses.I am most deeply grateful to my parents, for helping me strive towards the realization of my potentials, initiation, encouragement and moral support.Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to friends who were directly or indirectly involved to add their efforts, encouragement and moral support for the accomplishment of this review.


Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Definition of terms

Ecosystem . : A dynamic complex of organisms and their associated non-living environment, interacting as an ecological unit composed of primary producers,consumers and decomposers.

Ecological resilience: refers to the capacity of natural ecosystems, social resilience to the capacity of human communities to cope with change.

Watershed An area of land that drains water, sediment and dissolved materials to a common receiving body or outlet. The term is not restricted to surface water runoff and includes interactions with subsurface water. Watersheds vary from the largest river basins to just acres or less in size.

Watershed Ecology. The study of watersheds as ecosystems, primarily the analysis of interacting biotic and abiotic components within a watershed’s boundaries.


Increasing weather variability and climate change are contributing to land and natural/environmental resource degradation by exposing soils to extreme conditions and straining the capacity of existing land management practices to maintain resource kquality. Integrating watershed management in managing natural resources management concepts for managing natural resources in a sustainable and environmentally sound manner show in encouraging impacts, if it will be applied on a large scale and over a long period. Integrated Watershed management (IWM) implies the judicious use of natural resources such as land, water, biodiversity and overall ecosystem to obtain optimum production and productivity with minimum disturbance to the environment. The concept of integrated watershed management it is play an important role for localcommunities to adapt the impacts of climate change. The scaling up of IWM practices; increasing soil fertility and land productivity while in overall to make balanced the ecosystem. Protected soil ecosystems with its organisms are very important for soil organic matter decomposition and nutrient cycling under natural ecosystem. Thus, soil fertility maintained and productivity increases. Policies and strategies can play a decisive role through IWM practices among which is the most popular as underlines awareness creation at individual land user and community level. Opportunities could be utilized for success of management practices such as recognition of the problems by the entire progressive new rural development policies, skilled man power and vast experience in IWM practices are very notable.


1.1. Background and justification

Because of its topographic nature, removal of the living land cover brings about soil degradation (Girma, 2000). Environmental degradation, high population growth in developing countries, and the need to enhance sustainable agricultural productivity are now interlocked issues that constitute a triple of global challenge due to Green house Gass emission in the atmospher currently. These human equity and environmental issues can be tackled by improved integrated systems as a foundation for improving economic growth and environmental protection because it has the potential to increase the production of food, fuel wood, building materials, and fodder while arresting soil erosion and soil fertility decline(Girma, 2000).

Watershed Natural resources in Ethiopia are under extreme stress. Land degradation, deforestation, soil erosion and biological soil degradation are rampant throughout the country. It is available on line URL (http://www.colorado.edu/;(Kumar,2009): Integrated watershed management approach is the process of formulating and implementing a rational utilization d of action that is involving natural resources in a watershed, taking into account the social, political, economic, and institutional factors operating within the watershed and the surrounding river basins and other relevant regions to achieve specific social objectives and is generally recognized as the most practical and efficient way to improve water quality , and quantity through recharge to ground water table without exclude the others environmental indicators while maintaining regional economic viability properly (Http://www.epa.gov/watertrain).

The major impacts in watershed development programmes have been outlined as biophysical, environmental, socio-economic d institutional, and developmental access with gender equity. Convergence of various rural development programmes around the watershed could be ensured to promote holistic development of watersheds. For its continued success; the programme should be economically efficient, financially viable, technically feasible and socially acceptable. ( Endalkachew, 2007 ) watershed management means putting in place systems that ensure land resources are preserved, conserved, and exploited in sustainably base nowdays and future generations. In more general saying, watershed management is being seen as a major component for soil, water and vegetative conservation, rural community’s living standards improvement and the better environmental conditions. Since from the begun of 1990s up to nowadays, watershed management operations typically targeted as a resource use in productivity without overexpliotation, livelihood improvements, and poverty reduction by considerning as reality of the objectives beyond the resource conservation( Endalkachew, 2007 ).

The application of targeted conservation of natural buffer systems as a strategy for adapting to climate change offers several potential co-benefits: Biodiversity conservation, Poverty alleviation and enhanced carbon dioxide sink capacity into soils. A number of environmental management-based adaptation activities can also serve as climate change and mitigation measures with integrated watershed management. Enhancing natural resource management is playing a great role in helping communities at all decision-making to address the sources of disaster (Arnold, 2003; IDNDR, 1994).

The most vulnerable areas (sectors) to climate change include small-scale rain farming, pastoralists, coastal fishing & aquaculture communities, forest-based economy, the urban poor, coastal areas and floodplain settlements of watershed (Anonymous, 2009). Hurni (1993satated that Ethiopian economy is depend on agricultural economy and the most environmentally trouble country in the shale region due to severity of soil erosion and land degradation problems in the world. Today, the Ethiopian highlands become, is one of the largest areas of ecological degradation in Africa, (Mulugeta, 1988 cited in__). The major manifestations of Land degradation are severe soil degradation, loss of soil fertility, decline of biodiversity,which is in ultimate resulted in reduction of land productivity either temporarily or permanently. and also so many others. Much of the today’s problems of soil degradation in Ethiopia are attributed to the past exploitive social and economic system which permitted very intensive use of the natural resources, to the limits of productivity (FAO, 1984). Causes for vulnerability of Ethiopia to climate variability and change include very high dependence on rain fed agriculture which is very sensitive to climate variability and change, under-development of water resources, low health service coverage, high population growth rate, low economic development level, low adaptive capacity, inadequate road infrastructure in drought prone areas, weak institutions, lack of awareness, etc (NMA, 2007).

1.2. General Objective

this seminar paper is to review incontribution of the watershed management in ecological servise and contribution

Specific Objective this paper:

examined the importance of watersheds and how the diverse ecosystems within these areas provide a range of ecosystem services.

- To review watershed ecosystem functions and services.
- To review the Identifition of the main stakeholders and the relationships in watershed management

The Concept of Integrated Watershed Management (IWM)

IWM is a process of conservation, development and optimal utilization of the available natural resources in a watershed on a sustained basis and is an effective means for the conservation and development of land, soil, forest, aquatic natural resources and water resources. It is the processes which a multidisciplinary approaches while people in the watershed serve as chief functionaries’ decision -makers and main actors in the processes ( Winnege, 2005;Zoebisch et al,2005 ).

The purpose of IWM can be achieved through the active involvement of people, the empowerment of people to take informed decisions and act accordingly and through ensuring people’s ownership of the process by using local material and skills (Winnege, 2005). communities living in the watershed on the basis of the available watershed natural resources components include the conservation, development and optimal utilization of the natural resources within a watershed area i.e. soil and land management, water management, afforestation, pasture development; agricultural development, livestock management; rural energy management; enable people to build institutions for the management of the watershed with the mandate of decision making, knowledge sharing and executive powers to act according to the decisions made. This requires balancing their economic needs and expectations with environmental concerns; so as to avert degradation of the natural resources from the base, in particular soil and water components ( Winnege, 2005;Zoebisch et al,2005 ).


Watershed ecology is the essential knowledge for watershed managers because watersheds have structural and functional characteristics that can influence how human and natural communities coexist within

Basically, this includes structure of flowing waters (mainly rivers and streams with associated riverine wetlands and riparian zones), still waters (lakes and associated basin-type wetlands and shorelands), and upland areas of watersheds. ( Rosgen 1993 and 1996, Montgomery and Buffington 1998) .

“Still” (Lentic) Waters

Lentic systems generally include lakes and ponds. A lake’s structure has a significant impact on its biological, chemical, and physical features. ( Rosgen 1993 and 1996, Montgomery and Buffington 1998)

Flowing (Lotic) Systems

Longitudinal (in an upstream and downstream direction) - Flowing water systems commonly go through structural changes en route from their source to mouth. Three zones are usually recognized – headwaters, where flow is usually lowest of any where along the system, slope is often steepest, and erosion is greater than sediment deposition; transfer zone, the middle range of the stream where slope usually flattens somewhat, more flow appears, and deposition and erosion are both significant processes; and the downstream end’s depositional zone, where flow is highest but slope is minimal and deposition of sediment significantly exceeds erosion most of the time. Lateral (across the channel, floodplains and hillslopes) - Again, significant variation occurs among stream types, but a common pattern includes the channel, the deepest part of which is called the thalweg; low floodplains that a re flooded frequently, and higher floodplains (e.g., the 100-year or 500-year) that are rarely inundated; terraces, which are former floodplains that adowncutting stream no longer floods; and hillslopes or other upland areas extending up-gradient to the watershed boundary.downcutting stream no longer floods; and hillslopes or other upland areas extending up-gradient to the watershed boundary( after Ward, 1989) ,( http://www.epa.gov/watertrain ).

The gross structure of a watershed its headwaters area, side slopes, valley floor, and water body, as well as its soils, minerals, native plants and animals are, in one sense, raw material for all the human activities that may potentially occur there. The watershed’s natural processes are rainfall, runoff, groundwater recharge, sediment transport, plant succession, and many others that are provide beneficial services and goods when functioning properly, but may cause disasters when misunderstood and disrupted Although forests naturally supply a steady flow of watershed services, long-term provision of these services is not guaranteed.The amount and quality of these services depend on the condition of the forest—when watershed conditions are stressed or degraded, critical services can be threatened or compromised. Today, essential watershed services are threatened by a variety of human impacts on watersheds and aquatic ecosystems. In many areas, these systems have suffered from significant alterations of natural flow patterns, water pollution, and habitat degradation and fragmentation (Postel and Richter 2003) . It is crucial for people to understand watersheds and how they work before they make decisions or take actions that may affect the important watershed structural and functional characteristics available online (http://www.epa.gov/watertrain; Calder, 1998; Hayward, 2005).).

2.1. Vital signs of a healthy, resilient watershed

healthy, resilient watershed provides a sustained flow of desired ecosystem services over the long term. It resists and quickly recovers from disturbances such as floods, fire,and insect outbreaks.watershed processes and functions, such as the following, occur at the desired rates and in the desired locations:Capture and storage of rainfall; Recharge of groundwater reservoirs; Minimization of erosion and protection of soil quality; Regulation of streamflows; Storage and recycling of nutrients;Provision of habitat for native aquatic and riparian species(Sprague et al. 2006)

2.2. Soil Ecosystems and Erosion Mitigation efforts of IWM

Brady and Weil (2001) identified five key roles of soils: ; soil supports the growth of higher plants, mainly by providing a medium for plant roots and supplying nutrient elements that is essential to the entire plant development. Properties of the soil to determine the nature of the vegetation present, and indirectly the number and types of animals (including) people, and vegetation that can be supported;; soil properties are the principal factors controlling the fate of water in the hydrology systems, water loss, utilization, contamination and purification are all affected by the soil; the soil function nature’s (natural recycling systems). Within the soil, waste products and dead bodies of plants, animals and people are made available for re-use by next generation of life; The past study done by Ludi (2004); argued that economic development should be in such a way that as to meet the needs of the present generation without completing the ability of future generation. The discover carried out by Panda (2006) in the past was to achieved the welfare of mankind depends on the wise use of our soil and water resources. Gupta (2005) found increasing land degradation contributes to temperature rise and become major cause for soil carbon loss and argued that the decrease in soil carbon content may result in slow organic matter recycling.


Excerpt out of 18 pages


Watershed Contribution for Ecosystem Balance
Catalog Number
ISBN (Book)
watershed, contribution, ecosystem
Quote paper
Mammedsani Aliyyi (Author), 2021, Watershed Contribution for Ecosystem Balance, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/1168871


  • Mammedsani Aliyyi on 7/8/2022

    Watershed Contributions for ecosystem furtherly not published by researchers and journal but currently it crucial issue; so that's why I published review Watershed contribution to Ecosystem Balance please read it to improve academic course knowledge.

  • Mammedsani Aliyyi on 1/28/2022

    This My Original academic senior seminar review contribution.

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