Evaluating hotspots for stormwater harvesting through participatory sensing

J Environ Manage. 2019 Jul 15;242:351-361. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2019.04.082. Epub 2019 May 3.


Geographic Information Systems have been widely accepted to manage and manipulate spatial data associated with the hydrologic response of a watershed. Due to climate change and drought impacts, there is a need to conserve freshwater resources, which can be accomplished by introducing the concept of stormwater harvesting. Apart from hotspot identification and site screening, several economic, social, cultural, environmental aspects need to be considered before finalizing the suitable site for stormwater harvesting. The shortlisted sites are commonly ranked by considering various parameters, i.e. water demand, availability of stormwater and distance to end-use locations, which relate to economic aspects. In the present study, socio-environmental considerations are also constituted by adopting a web-GIS based approach. The geospatial datasets and metadata associated with the study area are organized as a repository in the open source database server (PostgreSQL/PostGIS), which is further assessed and analyzed by using GeoServer. This technique publishes the geospatial datasets to the public domain websites that can be accessed and visualized around the clock and across the world. This will help stakeholders gather and store responses from water planners and inhabitants, while minimizing the time and cost associated with field visits for collecting individual responses. In this respect, a questionnaire is prepared that includes queries associated with site selection and the responses are gathered from various institutions, water professionals, stakeholders and residents. Once the responses are collected, the Analytic Hierarchy Process has been implemented to compute the relative weights of each criterion with respect to the responses collected. The weights thus obtained assisted the planners in deciding the suitable stormwater harvesting site for Dehradun city in India. In context to responses gathered the sites 'B' and 'D' are given the maximum weightage to be the suitable sites in the study region. Also, the socio-environmental criteria such as 'community acceptance', 'recreational activities' and 'need for water reuse' have gathered the maximum weightage from the responses for the specific sites. Hence, the proposed methodology demonstrated how water professionals, civilians, planners, stakeholders and public can be included as participants in water-related decision making processes.

Keywords: Decision support system; GeoServer; Metadata; Stormwater harvesting; Web-GIS.

MeSH terms

  • Cities
  • Geographic Information Systems*
  • Hydrology
  • India
  • Rain*