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Universität Heidelberg (2019)

Rainwater Harvesting in Rural Jordan : A GIS and remote sensing-based analysis of ancient and modern adaptations to water scarcity in a changing environment

Brilmayer Bakti, Barbara Sophia

Titre : Rainwater Harvesting in Rural Jordan : A GIS and remote sensing-based analysis of ancient and modern adaptations to water scarcity in a changing environment

Regenwassernutzung im ländlichen Jordanien : Eine GIS- und fernerkundungsgestützte Analyse alter und moderner Anpassungsstrategien an die Wasserknappheit in einer sich verändernden Umwelt

Auteur : Brilmayer Bakti, Barbara Sophia

Université de soutenance : Universität Heidelberg

Grade : Doctor of Natural Sciences (Dr. rer. nat.) 2019

Résumé
This study investigates the topic of rainwater harvesting on the Karak Plateau located in rural Jor-dan. The term rainwater harvesting describes various methods and structures employed for the collection, storage and use of rainwater and resulting (on-site) surface runoff. Within the scope of traditional water management, over millennia, many of these techniques were developed, refined and applied in Jordan, as well as in other, especially semiarid, regions of the world. This tradition is rooted in the natural water shortage of the plateau and frequent absence of other reliable sources of fresh water. Today, population growth, climate change and local effects of globalization and global change are leading to growing water shortages in the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa) and many other parts of the world. In the search for sustainable solutions for this problem, traditional as well as new strategies of rainwater harvesting have recently been receiving increasing interest. The present study contributes to an enhanced understanding of the applicability and the potential of some of the most widely-used, traditional rainwater harvesting methods, especially the use of cisterns. The mapped structures were examined taking into account the settlement history and the respective circumstances of the natural and human environment. Possible determining factors concerning site preferences and resulting patterns in the spatial distribution of rainwater harvesting sites have been detected. The diachronic comparative analysis revealed changes in human-environment-interactions, particularly with regard to the significance and management of local water resources under natural shortage. The collected data enabled the detailed estimation of the rainwater harvesting potential and the suggestion of possible ways to improve and expand current rainwater harvesting schemes and efforts. The integration and possible role of rainwater harvesting strategies were discussed with regard to modern, sustainable water management and supply. Additionally, the applicability of modern geoinformation techniques was evaluated. Remote sensing techniques and met hods of image analysis, particularly with regard to the interpretation of satellite images of very high resolution, were examined especially. The combination of ground truth and other information from fieldwork and remote sensing-based data and techniques has proven most suitable and efficient. The mostly remote sensing-based mapping of rainwater harvesting structures and the establishment of a comprehensive database formed the basis for all subsequent analysis and possible further, sustainable planning steps. The semiautomatic analysis of the satellite imagery provided detailed information on land use/land cover and building rooftops and thus decisively contributed to the improvement of the (input) data basis. All in all, the collected data enabled a significantly enhanced, quantitative estimation of the rainwater harvesting potential of the study area. Many of the gained findings and insights can be transferred onto other dry areas and regions with similar environmental or socio-economic conditions.

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Page publiée le 30 mars 2020