Cambodia suffers from devastating droughts in the dry season and floods in the wet season. These events’ impacts are further amplified by ineffective water resources infrastructure that cannot retain water during the dry season. Water harvesting (the collection and management of floodwater or rainwater runoff to increase water supply for domestic and agricultural use) is an approach that could improve Cambodia’s resiliency against droughts and floods. Despite the known benefits of water harvesting, there are currently few studies on water harvesting suitability in Cambodia. This research argues that suitable water harvesting sites can be identified by combining various expertise and evaluating hydrologic site conditions. Thirty-one local and USA water infrastructure experts made pairwise comparisons between essential engineering criteria: soil drainage, geologic porosity, precipitation, land cover, and slope. Then, model weights were calculated based on the comparisons. Using the model weights, a water harvesting suitability model showed that 19% of Cambodian land has high suitability, and about 13% of the land has the best suitability. This water harvesting model can help guide future water infrastructure projects to improve climate resiliency by identifying suitable sites for water harvesting reservoirs.
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