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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2017-365
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2017-365
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: cutting-edge case studies 25 Jul 2017

Submitted as: cutting-edge case studies | 25 Jul 2017

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This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript for further review has not been submitted.

Assessment of the Hype Model for Simulation of Water and Nutrients in the Upper uMngeni River Catchment in South Africa

Jean N. Namugize1, Graham P. W. Jewitt1,2, David Clark1, and Johan Strömqvist3 Jean N. Namugize et al.
  • 1Centre for Water Resources Research, School of Agriculture, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Scottsville, 3209, South Africa
  • 2Umgeni Water Chair of Water Resources Management, School of Engineering, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Scottsville, 3209, South Africa
  • 3Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI), SE-60176, Norrköping, Sweden

Abstract. Most studies considering water quality pollution in the upper reaches of the uMngeni Catchment have relied on the physical grab sampling of water and the subsequent laboratory analysis of chemical determinants. However, this provides limited spatial and temporal information. Thus, the objectives of this study are to assess the capability of the Hydrological Predictions for the Environment (HYPE) model in simulating streamflow, dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) and total phosphorus (TP), in the fast developing uMngeni Catchment in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa. The model was set up and calibrated, following a stepwise approach and then validated. Results indicated that the simulation of discharge is most sensitive to the parameters related to evapotranspiration and the water-holding capacity of the soil, while DIN and TP are affected by plant uptake and initial pools of nutrients. DIN is also affected by denitrification. Runoff was captured well during the calibration (1989–1995) and validation periods (1961–1999), with a Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) greater than 0.0 in eight of the nine stations and a Pearson's correlation coefficient (r) of > 0.5 at all the sub-catchments. High streamflow events were represented well, low streamflows were over-simulated. The accumulative streamflows were over-predicted in the downstream sub-catchments, with an absolute percentage of bias (PBIAS) of > 25 %. The transport and dynamics of DIN and TP vary differently and they are driven by hydrological and biochemical processes. The concentration of TP follows the pattern of the streamflow, whereas DIN shows an inconsistent variation. The values of DIN decrease from upstream to downstream, while the TP values increase from the headwaters to the outlet of the catchment. Agricultural activities were found to be the largest source of DIN, while the TP is mainly ascribed to the point sources of pollution.

Jean N. Namugize et al.
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Interactive discussion
Status: closed (peer review stopped)
Status: closed (peer review stopped)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
Jean N. Namugize et al.
Jean N. Namugize et al.
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Short summary
The research study on testing the capability of HYPE model to simulate streamflow, nitrogen and phosphorus was motivated by the inclusion of in-stream processes of transport and dynamics of nutrients in the routing functions of the model. Results indicate that high streamflow events were represented well, with a general over-simulation of low flows. These findings are consistent with observations of spatial and seasonal distribution of nutrients in the catchment.
The research study on testing the capability of HYPE model to simulate streamflow, nitrogen and...
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