Journal of Water Resource and Protection

Volume 12, Issue 11 (November 2020)

ISSN Print: 1945-3094   ISSN Online: 1945-3108

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Sediment Transport and Its Impacts on Lake Kivu, Gihira Water Treatment Plant and Various Hydropower Plants along Sebeya River in Rwanda

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DOI: 10.4236/jwarp.2020.1211055    202 Downloads   643 Views  


Complex processes of sediment transport in a river impact on overall aquatic system and result in the productivity decrease of socio-economic development projects taking the river as a source of water. The present study was designed to estimate Sebeya river sediment load and assess its impacts on Lake Kivu, Gihira water treatment plant and various hydropower plants constructed in Sebeya catchment located in Western Province of Rwanda. Water samples were hand-collected from five different sampling points along Sebeya river during rainy and dry seasons. Laboratory analysis for turbidity, total suspended solids, sieve analysis for bed load materials and NPK content of water samples were conducted. The results revealed that the average turbidity was found to be high during rainy season compared to dry season. The same trend was found in total suspended solids concentrations. At all 5 sampling sites and during rainy season compared to dry season, the average mass flowrates of bed load materials were 7.84 and 2.96 kg/hr respectively. Sieve analysis results showed that all bed load sediments were mainly composed of high proportions of fine sand of more than 70% which adversely causes damages on hydropower turbines and the effect of high soil erosion rates on Gihira water treatment plant was traduced by high turbidity of raw water and excessive costs of reagents. At Sebeya outlet, nutrients load and high turbidity reduce significantly the aesthetic quality of Lake Kivu, having a harmful impact on recreation and tourism, aquatic life and affect the livelihoods of people living in the vicinity. Researchers recommend two options of reducing the amount of sediment load in Sebeya river: either to prevent soil erosion or to trap eroded sediment at the upstream of the hydropower and the water treatment plants. Assessing the sediment load fluctuations in Sebeya river is useful for water managers and planners to adjust operations accordingly at water treatment and hydropower plants.

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Majoro, F. , Wali, U. , Munyaneza, O. , Naramabuye, F. , Bugenimana, E. and Mukamwambali, C. (2020) Sediment Transport and Its Impacts on Lake Kivu, Gihira Water Treatment Plant and Various Hydropower Plants along Sebeya River in Rwanda. Journal of Water Resource and Protection, 12, 934-950. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2020.1211055.

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