LULCC was quantified at the floodplain and catchment scale analyzing Landsat 5 and Sentinel 2 satellite imagery applying different adapted classification methodologies. LULC maps at the catchment scale serve as spatial input for the distributed, process-based ecohydrological model SWAT (Soil Water Assessment Tool) simulating the changes in the spatial and temporal water balance in runoff components caused by LULCC.
The results reveal that over the past 26 years LULCC has significantly altered the floodplain and already shows an impact on the ecosystem by degrading the existing wildlife corridors. On the catchment scale the anomalies of the water balance are still marginal, but with the expected structural changes of the catchment there is an urgent need to increase the public awareness and knowledge of decision makers regarding the effect of the relationship between LULCC, water resources and environmental degradation.
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1513; doi:10.3390/su9091513