Hydro-spatial hierarchical method for siting water harvesting reservoirs in dry areas Academic Article 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 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 to collect and store precipitation surface runoff so that stored water can be used for supplemental irrigation during long dry seasons. This article presents Hydro-Spatial AHP, a method for siting small water harvesting reservoirs. This method is used to rank potential sites for such reservoirs based on a Reservoir Suitability Index (RSI) determined for each one of these sites. The RSI is calculated using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) along with hydrologic modeling and the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). This method was applied to Irsal, a dry-land agricultural region in Lebanon. Results reveal that Hydro-Spatial AHP works well in that area. The article also shows the flexibility of the method with respect to the criteria used for ranking the candidate sites.

published proceedings

  • Applied Engineering in Agriculture

author list (cited authors)

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

complete list of authors

  • El-Awar, FA||Makke, MK||Zurayk, RA||Mohtar, RH

publication date

  • July 2000