Using Geographic Information Systems and Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis to Determine Appropriate Locations for Rainwater Harvesting in Erbil Province, Iraq

Soran O. Ahmed, Ali Volkan Bilgili, Mehmet Ali Cullu, Fred Ernst, H. Abdullah (Corresponding Author), Twana Abdulrahman Hamad, Barzan Sabah Aziz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

Water scarcity is a prominent consequence of global climate change, presenting a significant challenge to the livelihoods of wide parts of the world, particularly in arid and semi-arid regions. This study focuses on Erbil Province in Iraq, where the dual effects of climate change and human activity have significantly depleted water resources in the past two decades. To address this challenge, rainwater harvesting (RWH) is explored as a viable solution. The purpose of this study is to make a suitability zone map that divides the study area into several classes based on the features of each area and its ability to collect rainwater. The map will then be used to find the best place to build different RWH structures. Seven different layers are used to make the RWH suitability zone map: rainfall, runoff, land use/cover (LU/LC), soil texture, slope, drainage density, and the Topographic Wetness Index (TWI). Each layer was assigned specific weights through the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP), considering its relevance to RWH. Results revealed four suitability classes: very highly suitable 1583.25 km2 (10.67%), highly suitable 4968.55 km2 (33.49%), moderately suitable 5295.65 km2 (35.69%), and lowly suitable 2989.66 km2 (20.15%). Notably, the suitability map highlights the northern and central regions as particularly suitable for RWH. Furthermore, the study suggested three suitable locations for constructing medium dams, six for check dams, and twenty-seven for farm ponds, according to the requirements of each type. These findings provide valuable insights for the strategic planning and effective management of water resources in the study area, offering potential solutions to the pressing challenges of water scarcity
Original languageEnglish
Article number4093
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Volume15
Issue number23
Early online date25 Nov 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Keywords

  • ITC-GOLD
  • ITC-ISI-JOURNAL-ARTICLE

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