Decision Support System integrated with Geographic Information System to target restoration actions in watersheds of arid environment: A case study of Hathmati watershed, Sabarkantha district, Gujarat

Watershed morphometric analysis is important for controlling floods and planning restoration actions. The present study is focused on the identification of suitable sites for locating water harvesting structures using morphometric analysis and multi-criteria based decision support system. The Hathmati watershed of river Hathmati at Idar taluka, Sabarkantha district, Gujarat is experiencing excessive runoff and soil erosion due to high intensity rainfall. Earth observation dataset such as Digital Elevation Model and Geographic Information System are used in this study to determine the quantitative description of the basin geometry. Several morphometric parameters such as stream length, elongation ratio, bifurcation ratio, drainage density, stream frequency, texture ratio, form factor, circularity ratio, and compactness coefficient are taken into account for prioritization of Hathmati watershed. The overall analysis reveals that Hathmati comprises of 13 mini-watersheds out of which, the watershed number 2 is of utmost priority because it has the highest degradation possibilities. The final results are used to locate the sites suitable for water harvesting structures using geo-visualization technique. After all the analyses, the best possibilities of check dams in the mini-watersheds that can be used for soil and water conservation in the watershed are presented.

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