International Journal of
Water Resources and Environmental Engineering

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Water Res. Environ. Eng.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6613
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJWREE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 315

Full Length Research Paper

Rainfall-runoff relation and runoff estimation for Holetta River, Awash subbasin, Ethiopia using SWAT model

Mahtsente Tibebe
  • Mahtsente Tibebe
  • Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, P. O. Box 2003, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
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Assefa M. Melesse
  • Assefa M. Melesse
  • Department of Earth and Environment, Florida International University, AHC 5-390, 11200 SW 8th Street, Miami FL33199, USA
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Dereje Hailu
  • Dereje Hailu
  • Addis Ababa University, P. O. Box 150368, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 16 July 2015
  •  Accepted: 01 February 2016
  •  Published: 31 May 2017


The hydrology of Holetta River and its seasonal variability is not fully studied. In addition to this, due to scarcity of the available surface water and increase in water demand for irrigation, the major users of the river are facing a problem of allocating the available water. Therefore, the aim of this research was to investigate the water availability of Holetta River using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) tool and hydrological model. The rainfall runoff process of the catchment was modeled by using Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). According to SWAT classification, the watershed was divided in to 6 subbasins and 33 hydrological response units (HRUs). The only gauged subbasin in the catchment is subbasin one that is found in the upper part of the area. Therefore, sensitivity analysis, calibration and validation of the model were performed at subbasin one and then the calibrated model was used to estimate runoff at the ungauged part of the catchment. The performance of SWAT model was evaluated by using statistical (coefficient of determination [R2], Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency Coefficient [NSE] and Index of Volumetric Fit [IVF]) and graphical methods. The result showed that R2, NSE and IVF were 0.85, 0.84 and 102.8, respectively for monthly calibration and 0.73, 0.67 and 108.9, respectively for monthly validation. These indicated that SWAT model performed well for simulation of the hydrology of the watershed.


Key words: Holetta River, SWAT, runoff, rainfall, variability.