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Title: Determination of Water Resource Suitability for Grazing at Makoholi Research Station, Masvingo, Zimbabwe.
Authors: Moyo, Ziso
Keywords: water resource suitability
water points
water quality
Issue Date: May-2018
Publisher: Lupane State University
Abstract: The study was carried to determine water resource suitability in Makoholi Research Institute, Zimbabwe. Parameters like water quality and distance from water points were used to determine the water resource suitability using the FAO land suitability classification method of 1991. Vegetation structure and composition assessment was done thereafter to assess its change as one moves away from water points. The water points were identified through the use of scanned map in a Geographic Information System (GIS) environment and ground verification after consulting the local community. The geographic coordinates of the water points were taken using a Global Positioning System (GPS). Water from these sources was sampled and sent for laboratory analysis to establish its physio-chemical characteristics. Water suitability classes were established by determining distance from water points using GIS software. The General Linear Model (GLM) was used to establish differences in water physio-chemical parameter due to sampling site and season. Analysis of variance was used to test significant differences in vegetation structure in different suitability classes. The data was tested for normality using the Shapiro Wilk test. The homogeneity of variance was assessed by Levine’s test for equality of error variances. Results obtained from this research showed that the range studied had no shortcomings in terms of water quality, all site fell in SI category with regards to water. However they showed that water physio-chemical parameters were significantly affected by season (p<0.05). Total dissolved solids were significantly affected by season (p=0.003), the turbidity and pH were significantly affected by season (p=0.000), and electric conductivity was also significantly affected by season (p=0.003). However nitrates were not significantly affected by season (p=0.062). However, the results showed that the rangeland was limited to some extent by distance from water points. The results also revealed a significant difference (p<0.05) of vegetation structure between suitability classes. The canopy cover, litter cover, soil compaction and top hamper differed significantly within suitability class or buffer distances. On assessing the species composition the Increaser II grass species which included mainly the Eragrostis species dominated the area. The grass height also differed significantly within buffer distances. It can be concluded using the limitation approach that Makoholi rangeland falls under the Suitability class S2 as far as the water resources are concerned and that vegetation near the water point is heavily utilized hence proving that water resource distribution affects range land utilization.
Appears in Collections:Department of Animal and Rangeland Management

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