Groundwater potentiality assessment in an arid zone using a statistical approach and multi-criteria evaluation, southwestern Tunisia

Mohamed Haythem Msaddek, Dhekra Souissi, Yahya Moumni, Ismail Chenini, Nacira Bouaziz, Mahmoud Dlala


The aim of this paper is to assess the groundwater potentiality using statistical multi-criteria evaluation and AHP (analytic hierarchy process) as an additional method to the hydrogeological research in order to create a map that represents the groundwater potentiality. The extraction of this map is based on the study of multi-criteria input data, such as lineaments, land use, lithology, drainage, slope, soil, rainfall and geomorphology. Weights were assigned using the AHP method to all these multi-influencing factors according to their influence on groundwater potential. Sensitivity analysis was calculated to validate the AHP weights result. The presented methodology has been applied to the Bouhedma region in southwestern Tunisia, located in an arid climate. This technique revealed that very good, good, moderate and poor groundwater potential zones are spread over 382 km2 (26.9%), 437 km2 (30.7%), 552 km2 (38.8%) and 51 km2 (3.6%), respectively. Furthermore, the effect of each influencing factor on groundwater capacity was computed. The results provide significant information and found to be helpful in better planning and management of groundwater resources.


groundwater assessment; AHP; multi-criteria evaluation; arid zone; Tunisia

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