A hydro-spatial hierarchical ethodology for siting water harvesting reservoirs in dry areas Conference Paper uri icon


  • Water availability is the main limiting factor in dry-land agriculture, throughout arid and semi-arid regions, due to low annual rainfall depth and its poor non-uniform temporal and spatial distribution. Water harvesting has been used for thousands of years to supplement scarce water resources in dry areas. Surface reservoirs are used for collection and storage of precipitation surface runoff. Stored water can be used for supplemental irrigation during long dry seasons. This paper presents Hydro Spatial AHP, a methodology for siting small water harvesting reservoirs. This methodology is used for ranking potential sites for such reservoirs based on a Reservoir Suitability Index (RSI) determined for each one of these sites. The RSI is calculated by using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) conjunctively with hydrologic modeling and Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). The methodology is appled to Irsal, a dry-land agricultural region in Lebanon. Results reveal that Hydro-Spatial AHP works well in that area. The paper also shows the flexibility of the methodology with respect to the criteria used for ranking the candidate sites.

author list (cited authors)

  • El-Awar, F. A., Makke, M., Zurayk, R. A., & Mohtar, R. H.

publication date

  • December 2000