Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) North of Iraq

Abstract: Rainwater harvesting is one of the methods that can ensure availability of water for winter crop in Iraq. Using this technique the excess rainwater (runoff) is stored in reservoirs of dams of different sizes. The water from these reservoirs can be used later when required to satisfy the crops requirements. It is believed that rainwater harvesting will be one of the solutions to overcome water shortages problem in Iraq.This work includes four parts dealing with macro rainwater harvesting modeling. The study area includes selected sites at three Governorates located north of Iraq (Erbil, Sulaymaniyah, and Nineveh). In part one of the work, three selected sites at south, north and east of Sinjar district (Nineveh Governorate) were used. The slope of the study area at Sinjar district is less than 5%. The technique was first applied on southern Sinjar Mountain. Linear programming technique was adopted to optimize the irrigated area of barley crop for irrigation scenario of supplemental irrigation (SI) 100% of full irrigation requirements. Two scenarios of reservoir operation were considered for each main basin. In the first, each reservoir was operated as a separate unit while in the second all reservoirs in main basin were operated as one system. Both scenarios gave encouraging results. Scenario two however, was relatively better. The technique was applied again on the northern and eastern Sinjar Mountain area but with different catchments area and scenarios of irrigation (supplemental irrigation (SI) 100%, deficit irrigation (DI) 50%, and deficit irrigation (DI) 25% of full irrigation requirements). Wheat crop was considered as the main crop grown in the area. A linear programming technique was adopted to optimize the irrigated area for the above three scenarios of irrigation. The results of the three scenarios used indicated that, using deficit irrigation (DI) of 50% can be more beneficial than SI of 100% and DI of 25% of full irrigation requirements. Part two of the work includes application of Macro RWH technique at mountain areas in Northeastern part of Iraq. In these areas, all selected basins having slope more than 5 % and located at the rain-fed farms of Kurdistan region of Iraq, Erbil and Sulaymaniyah Governorates. The annual rainfall is greater than what was available at Nineveh Governorate. Part three of the work focused about the ability of Macro RWH technique to support wheat crop yield production in dry rain-fed farms at north Sinjar district, north west of Iraq, using wheat crop yield-water relationship that conducted by International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA). Three scenarios of supplemental irrigation (100%, 75% and 50%) of full irrigation. requirements with, various rainfall conditions were used, two types of wheat (bread and durum) were considered. Part four of the work focused on climatic change and future prospects for Macro RWH technique. Box-Jenkins methodology for time series analysis and forecasting (ARIMA model) was used to study future rainfall for 4 main rainfall stations surrounding Sinjar area in order to forecast expected rainfall for the period 2012-2016. Future rainfall depths were forecasted with adoption of a confidence level of 95%. The future rainfall was employed for RWH technique. This part also includes a review of the impact of climatic change on countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA region). The climatic model CGCM3.1 (T47) 2 was used to explain the changes in the average temperatures and rainfall on MENA region with special emphases on Iraq. Long term future seasonal rainfall during the period 2020-2099 at east Sinjar (Nineveh Governorate) showed a clear negative trend reflecting the reduction in total seasonal rainfall amount. For these future rainfall depths, the maximum, minimum and average harvested runoff volumes were estimated. The comparison of the runoff results between future and historical recorded rainfall for the same study area was carried out to show the future validity of rainwater harvesting. In order to estimate the amount of runoff that can be harvested from a given catchment area at eastern Sinjar, an attempt was made to provide set of charts that are easy to be used in order to estimate the equivalent harvested runoff depth (mm) for different selected rainfall depths under different hydraulic conditions for the catchment area. Macro rainwater harvesting (RWH) technique had been tested for future rainfall data that predicted by two emission scenarios of climatic change (A2 and B2) for the period 2020-2099 at Nineveh and Sulaymaniyah Governorates north of Iraq. The results of the four parts of the thesis reflect useful values for RWH and its influence to increase the irrigated area and then the crop yield in the studied region when combined with an effective system like supplemental irrigation. Rain-fed land in the studied areas requires effective technique in terms of saving significant runoff water for irrigation purposes and this might be achieved by rain-water harvesting (RWH) technique.