Site Selection for Rainwater Harvesting for Wildlife using Multi-Criteria Evaluation (MCE) Technique and GIS in the Kavir National Park, Iran

Document Type: Research and Full Length Article


1 PhD Attended Gorgan Univ. of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

2 B Ph.D. Candidate, Arid Zone Management, Department of Arid Zone Management, Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Gorgan, Iran

3 Ascociate professor, Watershed Management. Univ. of Tehran.

4 Ascociate professor, Wildlife Ecology- Landscape Ecology. Univ. of Tehran, Iran.

5 Professor, Range Management. Univ. of Tehran, Iran


This research is an integration of GIS and multi-criteria decision making into a joint framework for identifying suitable areas for rainwater harvesting structures. The Kavir National park in Iran has been evaluated for suitability of rainwater harvesting. To this end, slope gradient, distance to guarding stations, distance to watering points for transporting collected water, distribution of wildlife species of interest, access to roads, evaporation, elevation, water scarcity index, and annual precipitation during rainy season were incorporated. Data collection and field visits took place during 2014-2015. Rainwater harvesting in this area is primarily intended for Ovis orientalis, Gazella dorcas and Acinonyx jubatus known as Persian Cheetah. The primary layers were standardized using a proper Fuzzy Membership Function, which assigns a weight between 0 and 1 to each layer, to include the inherent tradeoff between data layers in producing the final suitability map. The results suggested that precipitation and water scarcity (each by the relative weights of 0.3 and 0.2, respectively) were the most influential factors. The northern foothills of the Mount Siahkouh have shown to hold the highest suitability for rainwater harvesting. The suitability changes from lower than 100 to the east to higher than 200 to the west. The result of this study might be used to guide future endeavors for rainwater harvesting for wildlife on the ground. The methodology adopted here could be replicated in other studies with respect to its simplicity and practicality. This is recommended to run pilot small-scale rainwater harvesting practices and receive the outcomes and then, in case of a positive feedback, extend its application to other areas identified in this research.


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