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Journal of Environment and Earth Science ISSN 2224-3216 !a"er# ISSN 222$-%&4' (nline# )ol. 3* No.

11* 2%13

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Relationship between Rainfall-Runoff on the White Volta River at Pwalugu of the Volta Basin in Ghana
+a,mond -.udu /asei1*2* 0oateng -m"adu1* 1uug Samuel Sa"an.il1 1.2niversit, for 3evelo"ment Studies* !.(. 0o4 11'6* 5amale* 1hana* 1hana 2.2niversit, of 0onn* 1erman, E-mail of the corres"onding author6 rkasei@uni-bonn.de Abstract +ainfall and runoff "atterns affect mans activities in so man, wa,s and as such* designs of agricultural* storm water management* telecommunication* erosion* droughts* food securit, etc. It is essential that the role of rainfall and stream flow are recogni7ed* understood and ta8en into account when modelling h,drological "rocesses within an, 0asin. 5he !walugu catchment in the 9hite )olta 0asin e4"eriences one rain, season which usuall, .egins from -"ril and "ea8s u" in Jul,* -ugust* and Se"tem.er and graduall, end with some showers in (cto.er and "art of Novem.er. 5he .asis of the anal,sis com"rises of the rainfall events and runoff of the 9hite )olta +iver at !walugu* to determine the relationshi" .etween the rainfall events and runoff and also estimates the contri.ution of rainfall to runoff ., a certain threshold of rainfall. 5he anal,sis shows that the "eriod is characteri7ed ., high inter-seasonal rainfall and discharge varia.ilit, with a correlation coefficient of %.:' which showed a strong "ositive relationshi" .etween rainfall and runoff in the catchment. ;or the linear regression relationshi"s of cumulated rainfall events and discharges for the various ,ears considered for the stud,* it is reali7ed that 2%%3 and 2%%& recorded the highest coefficients of correlation of %.&6 and %.&2 res"ectivel,. 5he studies showed that the minimum rainfall that can cause runoff in the catchment is 2$mm which was set as a threshold. It is also o.served from the anal,sis that a rainfall of at least 1'mm can contri.ute %.2m3<s of water to river flow with a correlation coefficient of %.&% indicating a strong relationshi" .etween rainfall and riverflow. Keywords:+ainfall* +unoff* )olta 0asin* Intensit,* 5hreshold I !R"#$%!I" (f all the earth=s resource* none is fundamental to life than water. 5he restless atmos"here is an active agent in the constant redistri.ution of water on the earth surface* a fact that .ecomes even more stri8ing when we reali7e that onl, a minute fraction of one "ercent of the earth=s water is contained in the atmos"here at an,time. 5he seas and oceans contain a.out &3 "ercent of the earth=s water> 2 "ercent is in the ice ca"s and glaciers> water .odies* groundwater* soil moisture and vegetation account for $ "ercent ?oward* 1&&&#. 2ngauged catchments are found in man, "arts of the world and largel, in su.-Saharan -frica. Information collected in a gauged catchment and its regionalisation to ungauged areas is crucial for water resources assessment. ;armers in semi-arid areas such as 1hana are in need of such information. Inter and intra-seasonal rainfall varia.ilit, is large in these areas* and farmers de"end more and more on additional surface and groundwater resources for their cro" "roduction. -s a result* understanding of the 8e, h,drological "rocesses* and determination of the fre@uencies and magnitudes of stream flows* is ver, im"ortant for local food "roduction. +ainfall "attern affects mans activities in so man, wa,s and as such* designs of agricultural* storm water management* telecommunication* erosion and sediment control s,stems are highl, de"endent on rainfall characteristics. ?igh intensit, rainfall* "articularl, if sustained over a long duration* is mostl, res"onsi.le for altering the geomor"holog, of a watershed and therefore* 8nowledge of the distri.ution of rainfall intensit, is im"ortant in the design of erosion control and runoff conve,ance s,stems Several techni@ues have .een used to assess the runoff res"onse from different land uses. 0rown et al. 2%%$# used the "aired catchment a""roach where., the runoff res"onse of two neigh.ouring catchments with different land uses are anal,sed. Aalder et al. 1&&$# used time series anal,sis of a catchment* including the BoldC situation and the BnewC situation. 3ifferences in the runoff res"onse are then attri.uted to the different land uses. 5he com"lication with using this method is that changes in the climate cannot .e filtered out of the anal,ses and a long time series is necessar,. ?,drological modelling is also often used to identif, the "ossi.le changes in the runoff res"onse of a catchment e.g. ;enicia et al.* 2%%'> (tt and 2hlen.roo8* 2%%4# which have not .een readil, availa.le largel, due to technological ga" that e4ist in regions such as -frica. +ainfall in the region is erratic and unevenl, distri.uted. Dow rainfall in 1&'2<'3 and 1&&:<1&&'* for e4am"le* saw water levels of reservoirs dro""ing to minimum o"erating levels and causing severe cuts in h,dro"ower "roduction and su""l, in 1hana in "articular -misigo* 2%%$#. -nal,ses of rainfall data from various stations within the )olta +iver s,stem indicate that the months in which "reci"itation e4ceeds the eva"otrans"iration to generate runoff and direct recharge are usuall, June* Jul,* -ugust* and Se"tem.er /asei* 2%1%#. 5his need to .e

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Journal of Environment and Earth Science ISSN 2224-3216 !a"er# ISSN 222$-%&4' (nline# )ol. 3* No.11* 2%13

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ta8en into consideration for a sustaina.le water resource management. It is essential that the role of rainfall and stream flow are recogni7ed* understood and ta8en into account when modelling h,drological "rocesses within the 9hite )olta .asin. 5he "ortion of "reci"itation or irrigation waters that moves across land as surface flow and enters streams or other surface receiving waters as runoff occurs when the "reci"itation rate e4ceeds the infiltration rate. +unoff a general term in h,drolog, include surface runoff* also called overland flow a maEor h,drological tool used ., h,drologist in the anal,sis of availa.le water as well as water that ma8e it wa, to stream channel Eust .elow the surface sometimes called interflow or .ase flow. 0elow is a Schematic landsca"e segment ;igure 1# showing the various com"onents of runoff.

;igure1.Schematic landsca"e segment showing runoff com"onents +unoff* a com"onent of the h,drological c,cle* is considered an im"ortant "rocess in the stud, of h,drolog,. /nowledge a.out runoff com"onents surface and channel flow# under changing climatic and vegetation condition in the 9hite )olta +iver catchment is limited N,ar8o* 2%%:#. Information a.out runoff is fundamental to the understanding of "art of the h,drological "rocesses in the catchment 9hite )olta +iver .asin#. ;or instance* runoff contri.uting to stream flow from all "arts of the catchment is an im"ortant factor in meeting its water volume standards in the main )olta +iver and -8osom.o dam. (verland flow significantl, influences the amount of water availa.le in the rivers* streams and "onds* and determines the si7e and sha"e of flood "ea8s 5roch et al* 1&&4#* when studied and "ro"erl, managed* could .e converted into valua.le water resources for agricultural "roduction in flood"lain farming N,ar8o* 2%%:#. 2nderstanding and modelling of surface runoff "rocesses* re@uires the selection of a""ro"riate s"atial and tem"oral discreti7ation* to reduce scale discre"ancies* .etween o.servation and a""lication -Ea,i* 2%%4#. ?,drological modelling is ver, e4"ensive in develo"ing countries due to lac8 of com"uter resources and s"atiall, distri.uted data due to the "resence of ungauged and data limited catchments. 5his calls for the develo"ment of an alternative a""roach for the rough estimation of runoffs from rainfall in such areas. 5his stud, "resents a tool for estimating runoffs which see8s to esta.lish a relationshi" .etween runoffs and rainfall which could .e used to solve runoff estimation "ro.lems* es"eciall, in ungauged catchments. &tudy Area 5he !walugu area which is the selected catchment is differentiated ., its location through the Sudan Savannah ecolog, to the 1uinea Savannah ecolog, situated in the Northern "art of 1hana within the )olta 0asin ;igure 2#. +ainfall in the area is de"endent on the seasonal northward movement of the inter-tro"ical convergence 7one and reaching its "ea8 on man, occasions in -ugust in the Sudan ecological 7one and Se"tem.er in the 1uinea Savannah 7one. 5he moisture situation reduces with increasing Datitude therefore the Sudan ecolog, receives less rainfall than the guinea Savannah ecolog, and it is "unctuated with dr, s"ells of different durations. Small scale "easant farming is the main occu"ation of the "eo"le in the selected ten districts with small holdings of livestoc8. 5he Sudan ecolog, has a "o"ulation of a.out 2%% "ersons "er s@uare 8ilometre and the 1uinea ecolog, has a "o"ulation of 1: "ersons "er s@uare 8ilometre. Aereals are the sta"le food of the communities in the Savannah area. 5he main food cro"s cultivated in the area are rice* ,ams* groundnut* cassava* mai7e* sorghum* late millet* cow"ea* "igeon "ea* cotton in the 1uinea Savannah and late millet earl, millet* cow"ea* groundnut* sorghum* earl, mai7e* rice in the Sudan ecolog, /asei et. al.* 1&&$#. Aereal "roduction is the dominant agricultural activit, in this semiarid environment. Aro""ing "atterns in the ten districts differ and the

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Journal of Environment and Earth Science ISSN 2224-3216 !a"er# ISSN 222$-%&4' (nline# )ol. 3* No.11* 2%13

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most nota.le difference .eing the increasing dominance of millet and sorghum over mai7e and root cro"s as soil fertilit,. -n im"ortant difference among farmers of the catchment area in terms of food securit, comes from the constraints "eculiar to the region and not from differences in farmer as"iration and these includes higher incomes* effort reduction and ris8 avoidance. 5his means that enough grains .e harvested ., Novem.er to feed their families until the .eginning of the Jul,<-ugust earl, millet or mai7e harvest that "rovides food to fill the Fhunger - ga"F and that is the "eriod most farmers have no cereal stoc8s.

;igure 2. !walugu area of the 9hite )olta +iver catchment within the )olta 0asin '(!)"#"*"G+ Rainfall and Runoff relationship +ainfall is viewed as the driving force in a rainfall - runoff relationshi". It is alwa,s after a rainfall at a "articular "eriod of time concentration of rainfall# that runoff is seen. 9hen rainfall occurs* some of the rain dro"s are interce"ted ., leaves and stems of trees 8nown as interce"tion storage. 5he rest of the rain dro"s reach the surface of the ground where water .egin to infiltrate into the soil. (nce infiltration is started* it will reach a certain "eriod of time where the soil .ecome saturated i.e. the rate of rainfall intensit, e4ceeds the infiltration rate that the water .egin to run on the surface 8nown as surface runoff#. 5he time interval used in the measurement of the two varia.les and the si7e of the area .eing considered can affect this relationshi". 5here are also other "h,siogra"hical factors which have a direct .earing on the occurrence of rainfall and the volume of runoff which are "resented. Rainfall intensities threshold 9hen rain fall in a catchment for a "articular "eriod of time* it generates runoff .ut not ever, single rainfall contri.utes to runoff. 5his ma, .e due to the initial condition of the soil or the amount of rain falling at that "articular "eriod. 5he minimum amount of rainfall in an hour or a da, that contri.ute to runoff for a 8nown "eriod of time is said to .e the threshold for that "articular catchment. 5he threshold de"ends on the "h,sical characteristics of the area and varies from catchment to catchment. In areas with onl, s"arse vegetation or a "avement such as a stretch of a motor wa, and where the land is ver, regularl, sha"ed* the threshold ma, .e ver, small while in other catchments where the "revailing soils have a high infiltration ca"acit,> it ma, ta8e a large amount of rainfall to contri.ute to runoff indicating that the threshold will .e ver, high. Relationship between the rainfall events and runoff 5he .asis of the anal,sis com"rises of the rainfall events and runoff of the 9hite )olta +iver at !walugu. ?owever* for this "articular stud,* the em"hasis is more on the determination of the relationshi" .etween the rainfall events and runoff and also the estimation of the contri.ution of rainfall to runoff ., a certain threshold rainfall events. 5he events anal,sis involved constructing of h,drogra"hs to find the correlation of the amount of rainfall and the contri.ution to runoff during the storm and then set a threshold to find the contri.ution of rainfall to runoff. +ainfall events data were ta8en from a "eriod of 2%%3-2%%& and the corres"onding river heights e4cluding 2%%$ missing#. 9ith Gicrosoft e4cel* the data were criticall, anal,sed.

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Journal of Environment and Earth Science ISSN 2224-3216 !a"er# ISSN 222$-%&4' (nline# )ol. 3* No.11* 2%13

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R(&$*!& A # #I&%$&&I" & ;igure 3 "resents a general distri.ution of rainfall and discharges for the 6 ,ears "eriod. 5he figure shows that the discharges generall, increase with increases in the rainfall events while in some da,s* discharge increases as a result of u"stream flows. It is o.served that the rains mostl, fall in the months of June* Jul,* -ugust* and Se"tem.er with its corres"onding discharges increasing in that order. It is o.served that from 2%%3-2%%&* the highest river flow was recorded in 2%%: with a discharge of 13%6 mH<s and also 2%%' showed a similar trend. ;igure 3 indicates that the num.er of da,s with more rain, da,s and high discharge values were recorded in 2%%:* 2%%' and 2%%& which suggest flood ,ears. ?owever* the ga"s in the h,drogra"h de"ict missing data for some da,s in the various months.

;igure 3. 3istri.ution of rainfall- river discharges from 2%%3-2%%& e4cluding 2%%$ of !walugu in the 9hite )olta .asin - linear relationshi"* with a coefficient of determination of %.611* r I %.611# defines the relationshi" .etween the total rainfall events "er month and the monthl, discharge total of the 6 ,ear "eriod. ?owever* the general correlation gra"h for the "eriod considered for the stud, and some "articular ,ears considered are .etter correlated ,ears* with a summar, of regressing values for all the ,ears as e4"lained in figure 4.
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;igure 4* +elationshi" .etween the cumulated +ainfall and 3ischarges of 2%%3-2%%& of the 9hite )olta +iver at !walugu 5he "eriod is characteri7ed ., high inter-seasonal rainfall and discharge varia.ilit, with a correlation coefficient of %.:'. 5his coefficient shows that there is a strong relationshi" .etween rainfall and runoff. 5he coefficient of

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Journal of Environment and Earth Science ISSN 2224-3216 !a"er# ISSN 222$-%&4' (nline# )ol. 3* No.11* 2%13
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determination r I %.611# indicates that 61J of the variation in the discharges is accounted for ., the variation in the rainfall events. ?owever* linear regression relationshi"s of cumulated rainfall events and discharges were done for the various ,ears considered for the stud,. It is o.served that all of them showed "ositive correlations with some ,ears showing high correlation coefficient values indicating high variations in the rainfall and the river discharges. 5he gra"h ;igure $# gave a strong correlation of r I %.&6 with a coefficient of determination* r I %.&3. 5his means that there e4isted a strong relationshi" .etween rainfall and runoff. 1enerall,* it is o.served that -ugust and Se"tem.er recorded high flows with even low rainfall events which might have .een due to s"ills from u"stream reservoirs such as the 0agri 3am in 0ur8ina ;aso.
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;igure $. Aumulated +ainfall and 3ischarge relationshi" of 2%%3 of the 9hite )olta +iver at !walugu In ;igure 6* it is o.served that a high correlation coefficient of %.'6 is recorded signif,ing a strong relationshi" .etween the discharges and the rainfall with a value of the coefficient of determination of r I %.:4 which indicates that :4J level of the variation is accounted for ., the model e@uation. In figure 3* it is clearl, shown in the distri.ution gra"h that 2%%: recorded more and high num.er of rainfall events which made the corres"onding discharge also high and recording the highest "ea8 discharge among the 6 ,ear "eriod considered for the stud,. 5he statistical relationshi" esta.lished e4"lains that the high rainfall events is res"onsi.le for the high flows recorded in the river which suggest that 2%%: is one of the "ossi.le flood ,ears recorded in the catchment. ;rom the linear regression e@uation* it can .e deduce that a minimum monthl, total rainfall that can cause an increase in discharge is 2$mm.
2

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Journal of Environment and Earth Science ISSN 2224-3216 !a"er# ISSN 222$-%&4' (nline# )ol. 3* No.11* 2%13

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;igure 6* Aumulated +ainfall and 3ischarge relationshi" of 2%%: of the 9hite )olta +iver at !walugu In 2%%' ;igure :#* the coefficient of determination of r I%.:$ is the relationshi" level .etween the rainfall and discharges. ?owever* the gra"h gave a high "ositive correlation of rI ':. 5his means that there e4isted a strong relationshi" .etween rainfall and runoff. 5he relationshi" further deduce that the minimum rainfall for this "articular ,ear that can cause an increase in the river discharge is 33mm of rain.
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;igure :. Aumulated +ainfall and 3ischarge relationshi" of 2%%' of the 9hite )olta +iver at !walugu 0elow is a ta.le of the summar, of the minimum rainfall that can cause runoff* coefficients of correlation and determination for the various ,ears from which a threshold is set.

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Journal of Environment and Earth Science ISSN 2224-3216 !a"er# ISSN 222$-%&4' (nline# )ol. 3* No.11* 2%13

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5a.le 1 statistical values Kear Aoefficient of determination ,R- . 2%%3 %.&3 2%%4 %.66 2%%6 %.6: 2%%: %.:4 2%%' %.:$ 2%%& %.'$ 2%%3-2%%& %.61

Aorrelation coefficient ,/R- . %.&6 %.'1 %.'2 %.'6 %.': %.&2 %.:'

Ginimum +ainfall to cause runoff Runoff ,y. 0 ,1. 2 Rainfall,3. 4c 23mm 23mm 'mm 2$mm 33mm 3$mm -verage I 2$mm

A5ount of Rainfall that %ontribute to Runoff -nal,7ing the contri.ution of rainfall to runoff* 2% rainstorms were selected out of the si4 ,ears "eriod on a threshold of 2$mm rainfall intensit,. (ut of these* 11 rainstorms were also selected as .est contri.uting to runoff .ased on the close interval of the rain da,s. 5he gra"h of contri.ution to runoff mH<s# and rainfall mm# indicate a good correlation with + of %.'1 and a correlation coefficient of %.&%. 5his correlation coefficient showed that there is strong relationshi" .etween rainfall and its contri.ution to runoff in the catchment. 5he linear regression is e4hi.ited in figure '.
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;igure '* +ainfall contri.ution to runoff and rainfall relationshi" of the 9hite )olta +iver at !walugu +egressing rainfall against rainfall contri.utions to runoff ;igure '# results in a sim"le model6 Contribution to runoff (y) = 0.655 x Rainfall ( ) 11.59* 9ith an r6 value of %.'1* this regressing e@uation suggests that a minimum rainfall of 1'mm of rain add to the river .efore a significant amount of runoff occurs. 5his means that at least 1'mm of rainfall can contri.ute to runoff in the catchment which also falls within the 3u.reuil 1&'$# threshold of rainfall for certain soil "ro"erties. 1enerall, it is o.served that the rains mostl, fall in the months of June* Jul,* -ugust* and Se"tem.er with its corres"onding discharges increasing in that order* this ma, .e attri.uted to the saturation of the soils as the rain, season sta.ili7es. 5he "eriod considered for the stud, is characteri7ed ., high inter-seasonal rainfall and discharge varia.ilit, with a correlation coefficient of %.:'* indicating that there is a strong relationshi" .etween rainfall and runoff. -ll the ,ears showed high "ositive correlation as shown in ta.le 4.1 which means that there e4ist a strong relationshi" .etween rainfall events and runoff with 2%%3 and 2%%& recording the highest coefficients of correlation and determination. ;rom the linear e@uations esta.lished it is found out that some minimum monthl, totals of rainfall events are re@uired to ma8e a change in river discharge from which a the threshold was set as the average minimum rainfall to cause runoff for the various ,ears of anal,sis. In finding the amount of rainfall that contri.utes to runoff in the catchment* a gra"h of some rainfall events and their corres"onding discharges were "lotted and it gave a linear e@uation of = 0.655 11.59 * where , and 4 are the de"endent and inde"endent varia.le res"ectivel,. 5his e4"lains that the minimum rainfall that contri.utes to runoff is 1'mm. %" %*$&I" A # R(%"''( #A!I" 5his stud, showed that rainfall and runoff events "la, im"ortant roles in h,drological "rocesses in the catchment.

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Journal of Environment and Earth Science ISSN 2224-3216 !a"er# ISSN 222$-%&4' (nline# )ol. 3* No.11* 2%13

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;rom the general distri.ution of rainfall and discharge in the catchment* the stud, showed that rainfall is increasing in succeeding ,ears and also a corres"onding increase in the discharges which 2%%: recorded the highest rainfall events and amount. 5he regression anal,sis for the catchment indicates that it is characteri7ed ., high inter-seasonal rainfall and discharge varia.ilit, with a correlation coefficient of %.:'. 5his correlation coefficient showed that there is a strong relationshi" .etween rainfall and discharge runoff#. ?owever* the ,earl, regression anal,sis showed that 2%%3 and 2%%& recorded ver, strong correlation coefficients of %.&6 and %.&2 res"ectivel, and 2%%4 recording a lowest coefficient of %.'1. 5he high coefficients for some of these "articular ,ears indicate that the high runoffs o.served were as a result of the high rainfall events which could have accounted for floods in some of these ,ears* for instance* 2%%:* 2%%' and 2%%&. ;rom the stud,* the amount of rainfall that contri.utes to runoff in the catchment is a.out 1'mm. 5his means that for rains in the catchment that fall a.ove a threshold of 2$mm of rainfall intensit, can contri.ute at least 1'mm of rain to runoff de"ending on the conditions at the time of the storm. 5he stud, suggest that 3u.relil 1&'$# rainfall threshold values for some soil "ro"erties might wor8 for the catchment since the threshold esta.lished from the stud, falls within the 3u.relil=s threshold values of soil "ro"erties similar to the catchment. (verall* the o.Eectives of this stud, have .een achieved. 5he rainfall and runoff relationshi" was successfull, develo"ed and the amount of rainfall that contri.utes to runoff in the catchment also esta.lished. 5here is the need for rainfall intensities to .e measured for such studies rather than dail, rainfall which has no idea of intensities and further studies should .e carried out on rainfall intensities and contri.utions to runoff in the catchment and the 0asin as a whole. Ac1nowledg5ents 5he "resented research was carried out as "art of the follow-u" of 1D(9- )olta !roEect. 9e gratefull, ac8nowledge the su""ort of the 1erman ;ederal Ginistr, of Education and +esearch 0G0;# as main s"onsor of the 1D(9- "roEect. 9e e4"ress our than8s for the scientific in"uts of our "artners6 Gac !lanc8 Institute* 1erman,* International 9ater Ganagement Institute 1hana I9GI#* 9ater +esearch Institute 1hana 9+I#* Geteorological Services 3e"artment 1hana#* ?,drological Services 3e"artment 1hana#* Aentre de Aoo"Lration Internationale en +echerche -gronomi@ue "our le 3eMvelo"ement ;rance* 0ur8ina ;aso#* 2nited Nations 2niversit,NNInstitute for Natural +esources in -frica. R(7(R( %(& -Ea,i* -. E.* 2%%4# Surface runoff and infiltration "rocesses in the )olta 0asin* 9est -frica6 (.servation and modelling* Ecolog, and 3evelo"ment Series No. 1'. -misigo* 0. -.* 2%%$# Godelling riverflow in the )olta 0asin of 9est -frica6 - data-driven framewor8* !h3 5hesis Ecolog, and 3evelo"ment Series No. 34. 3u.reuil* !.D.* 1&'$# +eview of field o.servations of runoff generation in the tro"ics. Journal of ?,drolog, '%* 23:-264. ?oward* J. A.* 1&&&# 1eneral climatolog,6 fourth edition. /asei* A N.* Gercer-Ouarshie ?* and Sallah* ! K/ 1&&$# Identif,ing "ro.a.le dr, "eriods in mai7e "roduction under a monomodal rainfall regime in Northern 1hana. 2& Ga, - 2nd June 1&&$* II5- !roceedings of a +egional Gai7e 9or8sho" - 9EA-G-N<II5- "u.lication Garch* 1&&: /asei* +. -.* 2%1%# Godelling im"acts of climate change on water resources in the )olta 0asin* 9est -frica* Ecolog, and 3evelo"ment Series No. 6&. N,ar8o* 0. /.* 2%%:# ;lood"lain wetland-river flow s,nerg, in the 9hite )olta +iver .asin* 1hana* Ecolog, and 3evelo"ment Series No. $3. 5roch* !.-.* Smith J.-.* 9ood* E.;.* and de 5roch ;.!.* 1&&4# ?,drologic controls of large floods in a small .asin6 central -""alachian case stud,.

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