GEP  Vol.6 No.7 , July 2018
Site Selection for an Earth Dam in Mbeere North, Embu County—Kenya
Abstract: Choosing a suitable site for dam is a crucial phase in dam construction. A successful outcome of this effort is initiated by taking into consideration some watershed properties and characteristics. This study aimed to investigate hydrological information for dam site selection by integrating GIS with AHP Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis to establish hydrologic characteristics of the region suitable for a dam construction. The method used was based on consideration of seven criteria which included topographic factors (slope), geological factors, soil type, catchment size, land cover, proximity to river and proximity to roads. Data from ASTER GDEM was utilized for generating various topographic parameters while Geological Maps from Kenya Department of Mines were used for depicting rock formation/structure. Soil data from ILRI was used to show the distribution of the various soil categories. Land cover, roads and river centrelines were also used. This data was processed in ArcGIS to generate thematic layers of each criterion, on which weight was assigned depending on the most important factor. Weighted overlay analysis was applied to obtain layers showing suitable sites for dam construction. A final suitability map was established showing four possible sites of highly suitable areas for dam construction, with a capacity of 8.3 million m3 to North East, 14.9 million m3 to West, 26.9 million m3 to North West and 269.2 million m3 to North East of the study area. The larger site was the most recommended due to its narrow formation of contour troughs and ridges allowing for various dam options.
Cite this paper: Njiru, F. and Siriba, D. (2018) Site Selection for an Earth Dam in Mbeere North, Embu County—Kenya. Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, 6, 113-133. doi: 10.4236/gep.2018.67009.

[1]   Munyao, J.N. (2010) Use of Satellite Products to Assess Water Harvesting Potential in Remote Areas of Africa: A Case Study of Unguja Island. Enschede, The Netherlands.

[2]   Dorfeshan, F., Heidarnejad, M. and Bo, A. (2014) Locating Suitable Sites for Construction of Underground Dams through Analytic Hierarchy Process. International Conference on Earth, Environment and Life Sciences (EELS-2014), Dubai (UAE), 23-24 December 2014, 86-90.

[3]   Abushandi, E. and Alatawi, S. (2015) Dam Site Selection Using Remote Sensing Techniques and Geographical Information System to Control Flood Events in Tabuk City. Hydrology: Current Research.

[4]   Beavers Advisory Committee for England. (2017) Site Selection Criteria.

[5]   Ghazal, N.K. and Salman, S.R. (2015) Determining the Optimum Site of Small Dams Using Remote Sensing Techniques and GIS. International Journal of Scientific Engineering and
Research (IJSER), 3, 69-73.

[6]   Thanoon, H.A. and Ahmed, K.A. (2013) Hydrological Information Extraction for Dams Site Selection Using Remote Sensing Techniques and Geographical Information System. Al-Rafidain Engineering, 21, 102-114.

[7]   Xu, C.-Y. (2002) Hydrologic Models. Uppsala University Department of Earth Sciences Hydrology, Uppsala.

[8]   Lalhmingliana and Saha, G. (2016) Identification of Suitable Dam Site: A Survey. International Journal of Computer Engineering & Technology (IJCET), 7, 56-64.

[9]   Manugula, S.S., Veeranna, B. and Patel, S. (2015) Geo-Spatial Data Foundation for Dam Sites. International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET), 6, 61-68.

[10]   Dai, X. (2016) Dam Site Selection Using an Integrated Method of AHP and GIS for Decision Making Support in Bortala, Northwest China. Lund University, Lund.

[11]   Emiroglu, M.E. (2008) Influences on Selection of the Type of Dam. International Journal of Science & Technology, 3, 173-189.

[12]   Lashkaripour, G. and Ghafoori, M. (2002) The Engineering Geology of the Tabarak Abad Dam. Engineering Geology, 66, 233-239.

[13]   Mati, B. (2017) Water Harvesting and Storage in Valleys Using Small Earth Dams.

[14]   Stephens, T. (2010) Manual on Small Earth Dams. A Guide to Siting, Design and Construction. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome.

[15]   Ajin, R.S., Krishnamurthy, R.R.K., Jayaprakash, M. and Vinod, P.G. (2013) Flood Hazard Assessment of Vamanapuram River Basin, Kerala, India: An Approach Using Remote Sensing & GIS Techniques. Advances in Applied Science Research, 4, 263-274.

[16]   Ghoraba, S.M. (2015) Hydrological Modeling of the Simly Dam Watershed (Pakistan) Using GIS and SWAT Model. Alexandria Engineering Journal, 54, 583-594.

[17]   Engineering Articles (2015) Selection of Dam Site.

[18]   Tim, U.S. and Mallavaram, S. (2003) Application of GIS Technology in Watershed-Based Management and Decision Making. Watershed Update, 1, 1-6.

[19]   Hosseinzadeh, S.R. (2011) Drainage Network Analysis, Comparis of Digital Elevation Model (DEM) from ASTER with High Resolution Satellite Image and Areal Photographs. International Journal of Environmental Science and Development, 2, 194-198.

[20]   Triantaphyllou, E. (2000) Multi-Criteria Decision Making Methods: A Comparative Study. Springer Science + Business Media, Dordrecht.

[21]   Saaty, T.L. (2008) Decision Making with the Analytic Hierarchy Process. International Journal of Services Sciences, 1, 83-98.

[22]   Al-shabeeb, A.R. (2016) The Use of AHP within GIS in Selecting Potential Sites for Water Harvesting Sites in the Azraq Basin-Jordan. Journal of Geographic Information System, 8, 73-88.

[23]   MoALF (2016) Climate Risk Profile for Embu. Kenya County Climate Risk Profile Series. The Kenya Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MoALF), Nairobi, International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAt), Nairobi.

[24]   Bear, L. (1952) A Geological Reconnaissance of the Area South-East of Embu.

[25]   Marinos, P.G., Koukis, G., Tsiambaos, G. and Stournaras, G. (1997) Engineering Geology and the Environment. Volume 2, A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam.

[26]   ILRI (2017) GIS Services. =&opLayer=&opTheme=&opBoolean=&display=Brief&rgone=71&rgtwo=80

[27]   BPMS (2017) Multi-Criteria Decision Making Using the Analytic Hierarchy Process.

[28]   Bunruamkaew, K. (2012) How to Do AHP Analysis in Excel. University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba.

[29]   Djokic, D. (2012) Hydrologic and Hydraulic Modeling with ArcGIS. ESRI, San Diego.

[30]   Government of Western Australia (2014) Dam Construction and Operation in Rural Areas. Water Quality Protection Note 53 Rural Dams, 1-27.

[31]   Saaty, T.L. (1977) A Scaling Method for Priorities in Hierarchical Structures. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 15, 234-281.

[32]   Esri (2017) Understanding Overlay Analysis.

[33]   Ghafoori, M., Lashkaripour, G.R. and Azali, S.T. (2011) Investigation of the Geological and Geotechnical Characteristics of Daroongar Dam, Northeast Iran. Geotechnical and Geological Engineering, 29, 961-975.

[34]   Queensland (2017) Environmental Factors That Influence Site Selection.

[35]   Pimentel, D. and Burgess, M. (2013) Soil Erosion Threatens Food Production. Agriculture, 3, 443-463.