A GIS-based Approach for Assessing Water Harvesting Suitability in a Badia Benchmark Watershed in Jordan
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Feras M. Ziadat, Theib Oweis, Safa Mazahreh, Adriana Bruggeman. (14/5/2006). A GIS-based Approach for Assessing Water Harvesting Suitability in a Badia Benchmark Watershed in Jordan. Marrakesh, Morocco.
In arid and semi-arid areas water harvesting techniques can be used to capture and efficiently utilize rainwater runoff to maintain productive and sustainable agro-pastoral systems. With water resources being depleted by growing populations and increasing development, water harvesting emerges as a crucial means for water management and conservation in the waterscarce environments of West Asia and North Africa. Successful performance of waterharvesting systems in the arid steppe (badia) of Jordan has been documented by Oweis and Taimeh (1996); Abu-Awwad and Shatanawi (1997); and Taimeh and Hattar (2001). However, the adoption of water harvesting techniques by the badia communities is still limited. The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) has established in cooperation with the agricultural research organizations in Jordan a Badia Benchmark Watershed to develop and test water-harvesting systems with the participation of rural communities. The main objective of this study was to develop a methodology to assess in a systematic, practical, and informed manner the potential for water harvesting in watersheds in arid and semi-arid regions. The watershed was characterized to provide data for the selection of sites that are suitable for various water harvesting interventions. A suitability analysis, based on biophysical criteria, was carried out using GIS. The suitability analysis provided all potential interventions for each land unit; the socio-economic aspects were then incorporated to select the optimum intervention.