Runoff water harvesting (RWH) is considered as an important tool for overcoming water scarcity in arid and semi-arid regions. The present work focuses on identifying potential RWH sites in the Wadi Watir watershed in the south-eastern part of the Sinai Peninsula. This was carried out by means of significant integration of the analytical hierarchy process (AHP), distributed spatial model, geographical information system (GIS), watershed modeling system (WMS), and remote sensing techniques (RS). This integration of modern research tools has its own bearing on the accurate identification of optimum RWH sites, which could be relied upon in developmental planning for arid environments. Eight effective RWH parameters were chosen to apply a multi-parametric decision spatial model (MPDSM), namely the overland flow distance, volume of annual flood, drainage density, maximum flow distance, infiltration number, watershed slope, watershed area and watershed length. These parameters were used within ArcGIS 10.1© as thematic layers to build a distributed hydrological spatial model. The weights and ranks of each model parameter were assigned according to their magnitude of contribution in the RWH potentiality mapping using a pairwise correlation matrix verified by calculating the consistency ratio (CR), which governs the reliability of the model application. The CR value was found to be less than 0.1 (0.069), indicating acceptable consistency and validity for use. The resulting MPDSM map classified the watershed into five categories of RWH potential, ranging from very low to very high. The high and very high classes, which are the most suitable for RWH structures, make up approximately 33.24% of the total watershed area. Accordingly, four retention dams and seven ground cisterns (tanks) were proposed in these areas to collect and store the runoff water, whereby these proposed RWH structures were chosen according to the soil type and current land-use pattern. The resulting MPDSM map was validated using a topographic wetness index (TWI) map, created for the watershed. This integrative and applied approach is an important technique which can be applied in similar arid environments elsewhere.
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