Abstract

The Great River Watershed, located in north-west Jamaica, is critical for development, particularly for housing, tourism, agriculture, and mining. It is a source of sediment and nutrient loading to the coastal environment including the Montego Bay Marine Park. We produced a modeling framework using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and GIS. The calculated model performance statistics for high flow discharge yielded a Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency (NSE) value of 0.68 and a R2 value of 0.70 suggesting good measured and simulated (calibrated) discharge correlation. Calibration and validation results for streamflow were similar to the observed streamflows. For the dry season the simulated urban landuse scenario predicted an increase in surface runoff in excess of 150%. During the wet season it is predicted to range from 98 to 234% presenting a significant risk of flooding, erosion and other environmental issues. The model should be used for the remaining 25 watersheds in Jamaica and elsewhere in the Caribbean. The models suggests that projected landuse changes will have serious impacts on available water (streamflow), stream health, potable water treatment, flooding and sensitive coastal ecosystems. Rev. Biol. Trop. 62 (Suppl. 3): 293-305. Epub 2014 September 01.

 

Keywords: Soil and Water Assessment Tool, Integrated Coastal Zone and Watershed Management, GIS