Rainwater Harvesting Using GIS Technique: A Case Study of Diyala Governorate, Iraq

Abstract

To improve the management of water resources in Iraq, there are several methods, including the use of rainwater harvesting techniques. In this study, the Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and Landsat satellite imagery were used under the GIS environment to identify the suitable zones for rainwater harvesting. The accomplishment of rainwater harvesting systems strongly depends on their technical designing and identifying the suitable sites. Six criteria have been used to identify the rainwater harvesting sites in Diyala governorate. The procedure of identifying the suitable sites for rainwater harvesting was applied twice for Diyala governorate. Firstly, it was applied by using the criteria of rainfall, slope, stream order, distance to roads, and land use, and secondly rainfall, slope, stream order, distance to roads, and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) criteria was used for this purpose. As a result, the study area was divided into three suitability zones: low, moderate, and high according to the specific criteria that were used to identify the rainwater harvesting suitable sites. It was found that in the application of land use criterion the low suitability zone represents 26%, 58% represents the moderate, and 16% for the high suitability zone, while in the method of NDVI it was found that 29% represents the zone that has low suitability, 57% represents the moderate, and 14% represents the high suitability zone. The compared results led to conclude that the land use is the most influential criterion for identifying the rainwater harvesting suitability sites and found that most of the Eastern parts of Diyala governorate is a promising area for rainwater harvesting and ArcGIS is a very useful, time-saving, and costeffective tool for identifying the rainwater harvesting suitable sites.