Saudi Arabia’s arid and semi-arid regions suffer from water scarcity because of climatic constraints and rapid growth of domestic and industrial water uses. The growing demand for high-quality water supplies and to reduce the dependency on desalination creates an urgent need to explore groundwater resources as an alternative. The weighted overlay analysis method using the fuzzy-analytical hierarchy process (FAHP) multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) techniques combined with geoinformation technology was used in this study to explore the groundwater potential zones in the Itwad-Khamis watershed of Saudi Arabia. Twelve thematic layers were prepared and processed in a GIS setting to produce the groundwater potential zone map (GPZM). Subsequently, potential groundwater areas were delineated and drawn into five classes: very good potential, good potential, moderate potential, poor potential, and very poor potential. The estimated GWPZ (groundwater potential zones) was validated by analyzing the existing open wells distribution and the yield data of selected wells within the studied watershed. With this quality-based zoning, it was found that 82% of existing wells were located in a very good and good potential area. The statistical analysis showed that 14.6% and 28.8% of the total area were under very good and good, while 27.3% and 20.2% were accounted for the moderate and poor potential zone, respectively. To achieve sustainable groundwater management in the Aseer region, Saudi Arabia, this research provided a primary estimate and significant insights for local water managers and authorities by providing groundwater potential zone map.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited