Application of the balance analysis to determine discharge errors on a staff gauge catchment

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University of Dar es Salaam
Reliable estimates of stream flows are essential to significant improvements in the planning and operation of projects on river systems. Staff gauging is the method mostly used to compute the average stream flows; but will give reliable estimates only when the time of reading the staff is properly correlated with the time of flood peaks on the stream. In this study, it has been assumed that the momentary discharges obtained by staff gauging tend to underestimate the monthly/annual catchment yields because of the inability of the gauges to account for most of the flood peak components on the river system. This report has tried to emulate a method to investigate and estimate the discharge error caused by the staff gauging method. The hydro meteorological data available for Kibos catchment in Western Kenya has been used in the research. Water balance analysis has been applied in the investigation, and has shown the water balance to have a rising trend: This rising trend, from the law of conservation of mass, implies that there is a significant error in the catchment water budget. An analysis is made on possible causes of the error, and has managed to show that the error is majorly caused through the staff gauging discharge records.
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Water balance (hydrology), Kibos, Catchment, Kenya, Rivers, Regulation
Mwaka, B. M. L (1984) Application of the balance analysis to determine discharge errors on a staff gauge catchment, Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (