Main Article Content
In recent years, activities related to socio-economic development have led to land cover (LC) changes in the upper part of the Dong Nai river basin. The use of remote sensing applications to analyse the impacts of these changes plays an important role in the managing the sustainability of the river basin. This paper introduces a solution for analysing the impacts of LC changes on the water balance in the upstream catchment of the Dong Nai river in Lam Dong province. Landsat images were used for mapping and monitoring major changes over the last 20 years. Rainfall and water discharge data was collected from the local hydrometeorological stations to identify the impacts of the LC changes on the runoff in the catchment area. The results show that the forest area was reduced by more than 223,576 ha (23%). The main changes were an increase in the agricultural area from 18.2 to 31.3% and in water bodies from 0.9 to 2.2%. The latter was due to hydropower development projects in the catchment area. The LC changes caused by the changes in the hydrological conditions of the river basin have had a significant impact on water resources. The identification of the main LC changes in the catchment area could be useful for establishing a policy to protect the headwater forests and mitigate
against future impacts.