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


  • Dhuha S. Al-Khafaji Department of Atmospheric Sciences, College of Science, Mustansiriyah University.
  • Asraa Khtan Abdulkareem Department of Atmospheric Sciences, College of Science, Mustansiriyah University.
  • Qusai Y. Al-Kubaisi Department of Geology, College of Science, University of Baghdad.




Rainwater harvesting, Digital Elevation Model (DEM), Suitability map, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), land use, GIS, Diyala.


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 the Diyala governorate. The procedure of identifying the suitable sites for rainwater harvesting was applied twice for the 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 were 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 are promising areas for rainwater harvesting and ArcGIS is a very useful, time-saving, and cost-effective tool for identifying the rainwater harvesting suitable sites.


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How to Cite

D. S. Al-Khafaji, A. K. Abdulkareem, and Q. Y. Al-Kubaisi, “Rainwater Harvesting Using GIS Technique: A Case Study of Diyala Governorate, Iraq”, Al-Mustansiriyah Journal of Science, vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 96–102, May 2021, doi: 10.23851/mjs.v32i2.990.

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