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Universidade de Tras os Montes E Alto Douro (2020)

Decision support systems for rainwater harvesting and runoff control in watersheds

Terêncio, Daniela Patrícia Salgado

Titre : Decision support systems for rainwater harvesting and runoff control in watersheds

Auteur : Terêncio, Daniela Patrícia Salgado

Université de soutenance : Universidade de Tras os Montes E Alto Douro

Grade : Doutoramento em Ciências Agronómicas e Florestais 2020

Résumé partiel
Pressure on water resources have been increasing over time, due to external forces such as population growth, irregular distribution, water waste, aquifer contamination and also climate change. Global climate change is expected to intensify current and future tensions over water resources and will increase the frequency and intensity of droughts and floods. Thus, in addition to extreme events such as floods and droughts, water quality and forest fire problems are also a concern. Therefore, some methodologies have been tested to improve, mitigate or help better management and planning of water and thus combat these water-related problems. In Chapter 1, a brief introduction is made about pressures on the water resources and their consequences for the environment and society, while some solutions are suggested. An improved framework model to allocate optimal rainwater harvesting sites in small watersheds for agro-forestry uses is presented in Chapter 2. The developed model aims to select optimal RWH sites based on a multi-criteria analysis involving physical, socioeconomic and ecologic parameters. The choice of specific socio-economic parameters allowed the selection of optimal places away from urban centres or large farming areas, which prevent the use of stream water with excessive anthropogenic nutrients in irrigation that may cause accumulation of nitrosamines in the food chain with severe consequences to human health. Chapter 3 discusses rainwater harvesting in catchments for agro-forestry uses : A study focused on the balance between sustainability values and storage capacity. This model follows the line of the previous chapter, but was significantly improved. In this case, attention was paid to the balance between sustainability values and storage capacity of RWH systems. The study aimed at ranking 384 rainfall collection sub-catchments as regards installation of RWH sites for crop irrigation and forest fire combat. The practice of RWH at the catchment scale is frequently concerned with ecological sustainability values, namely through the aesthetic landscape enhancement. To naturally cope with these values, RWH infrastructure (dam wall) heights must not exceed ≈3 m. The results showed that more engineered dams may not always ensure all sustainability values but warrant much better storage.

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Page publiée le 24 mars 2021