A linear regression model combined with a soil water balance model to design micro-catchments for water harvesting in arid zones

Th M. Boers, M. De Graaf, R. A. Feddes, J. Ben-Asher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

In arid zones, where water harvesting techniques can be applied to use surface runoff for agricultural production, long-term meteorological records are often scarce. This is a problem when designing a water harvesting system, for instance, with micro-catchments. This paper presents a design method for micro-catchments, based on a simulation approach. Available rainfall and evaporation data are supplemented with soil physical data, determined from samples taken on the spot. A linear regression model combined with a transient one-dimensional finite difference water balance model is used to simulate the complete water harvesting process for a number of years. The theoretical basis of the model, including initial and boundary conditions is discussed. Experimental data from the Northern Negev Desert are used to calibrate the model. The water balance is simulated for two sets of soil physical properties, and for extremely arid and arid conditions. The performance of micro-catchments with varying runoff area A and basin area B is studied. This A B ratio is a key parameter in micro-catchment design. The following conclusions are drawn: (1) extremely arid conditions ('true desert') are too dry for micro-catchment-water-harvesting; (2) for arid conditions with average annual rainfall of ca. 200 mm, and the trees and loess soil considered, a preliminary design would have a basin area B of ca. 40 m2 and a runoff area A of between 40 and 80 m2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-206
Number of pages20
JournalAgricultural Water Management
Volume11
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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