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International Journal of Geography and Geology

March 2019, Volume 8, 3, pp 93-109

Bathymetry of the Makoye Reservoir and its Implications on Water Security for Livestock within the Catchment

Manoah Muchanga


Henry M. Sichingabula


Joy Obando


Innocent Chomba


Happy Sikazwe


Moses Chisola

Manoah Muchanga 1 ,

Henry M. Sichingabula 1 Joy Obando 3
Innocent Chomba 4
Happy Sikazwe 1 Moses Chisola 1 
  1. Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia. 1

  2. Department of Geography, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya 3

  3. Ministry of Water Resource Development, Zimba, Zambia. 4

Pages: 93-109

DOI: 10.18488/journal.10.2019.83.93.109

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Article History:

Received: 23 May, 2019
Revised: 28 June, 2019
Accepted: 31 July, 2019
Published: 18 September, 2019


The objectives of the study were to: determine bathymetry of the reservoir; understand seasonal hydrological regimes of the reservoir; determine factors influencing reservoir bathymetry and, examine the implications of the reservoir's bathymetry on livestock water demand and policy decision making. The determined reservoir bathymetries and capacities at low, medium and full levels confirmed drastic changes in water volumes and eventually, a threat to water security for livestock. This unsteady equilibrium in reservoir's bathymetry and water volumes was mainly due to high mean annual siltation rates (>5,000 tyr-1). Using 3D spatial analysts tools in ArcGIS 10.3 and spreadsheet Microsoft Excel to analyze the data based on the study, hypsometric curves showed strong non-linear relationships among water depth and water surface; water depths and water volume, as well as water surface area and water volume. Generally, through inter-seasonal comparisons of reservoir's bathymetries and water volumes between 2015 and 2017, this study illustrates the significance of bathymetric study of small reservoirs as a plinth to provide policy context and guidelines on water resource management for livestock, as a missing component in general studies of bathymetry, which are usually predominated by understanding the physical processes, but with little or no emphasis on their meaning towards addressing societal needs. Hence, a community engaged strategy to addressing upstream sediment-generating activities would help in stabilizing the bathymetry of the reservoir and eventually enhance water security for livestock.
Contribution/ Originality
This study is one of very few studies which have investigated implications of bathymetric surveying on sustainable water resource management for livestock. The study documents how bathymetric surveying can be used to understand seasonal hydrological regimes and storage capacity loss of small reservoirs so as to prepare for water security.


Bathymetry, Evaporation, GIS, Hydrological regimes, Livestock, Monze District-Zambia, Reservoir, Sedimentation, Water.



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Funding for this study under Task 109 project was largely received from the Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Use (SASSCAL) funded by German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) (Project Grant Number 01LG1201M), and partly from the Zambian Government.

Competing Interests:

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


All authors contributed equally to the conception and design of the study.

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