MAPPING THE EFFECTS OF AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT TO WATER YIELD USING REMOTE SENSING
Variation of land cover status, like clearance of forest for agricultural (oil palm) plantation activities, may lead to rapid landscape development. Also, it may cause climate variation effects like excessive rainfall and flooding, which may result in loss of properties and lives. Agricultural (oil palm) plantation‟s dispersed canopy and the open surface of the ground compared to primary forest cause much more runoff and streamflow or discharge. Hence, this paper analyses the land-use changes and evaluate its influence on water yield using the Soil Water Assessment Tools model. Quantitative and qualitative assessment to examine the successive variation from forest to agriculture has been carried out between 2000 and 2010. The results indicate that the conversion of forest to agriculture has a significant influence on hydrological properties of the study area, which cause average water yield increase by 1.93% in the area between 2000 and 2010. Which, in turn, can lead to dryer during the dry season and wetter during rainy seasons. Furthermore, forest and water body are directly proportional. Similarly, forest and agriculture are inversely proportional with R2 > 0.85, p = 0.001. The study shows the ability of Landsat in monitoring the assessment of forest to agriculture, which causes changes in hydrology. This study offers a useful input of planning and sustainable management of surface and water resources.