Document Type : Research Paper
Watershed Management Dept., Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources
The present study has been carried out aiming at suitable site selection for rainwater harvesting across the northern rangelands of the Aq Qala district to supply drinking water for grazing livestocks using the effective criteria and multi-criteria decision support system. The rainwater harvesting suitability map was created by integrating the multi-criteria evaluation (MCE) technique and standardization (fuzzification) of continuous raster data within ArcGIS. To determine the suitable rainwater harvesting areas, the weighted linear combination (WLC) was applied in the range of 0 to 1 using the multi-criteri evaluation (MCE) within the ArcGIS and and the data of various criteria including distance to water source, distance to cattle post, stocking density, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), distance to road, slope percentage, distance to settlement and soil texture. The result indicated that about 2950 ha (~5.2%) of the study area have a good suitability for implementation of rainwater harvesting systems to supply water for grazing livestocks. The results of questionnaire survey revealed that about 70% of 107 stakeholders of the rangelands are highly willing to install and utilize rainwater harvesting systems, but high cost of installing is considered the main hinderance.