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 JWARP  Vol.11 No.7 , July 2019
Evaluating Watershed Vulnerability in Bernalillo County, New Mexico Using Expert Testimony, Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process, and GIS
Abstract: Geographic Information System (GIS) software was used to create a watershed vulnerability model for Bernalillo County, New Mexico. Watershed vulnerability was investigated as a function of soil erosion and infiltration criteria: precipitation, land slope, soil erodibility (K-factor), vegetation cover (NDVI), land use, drainage density, saturated hydraulic conductivity, and hydrologic soil group. Respective criteria weights were derived using a Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process (FAHP) supported by expert opinion. A survey of 10 experts, representing New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (NMT), the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources (NMBGMR), and the United States Geologic Survey (USGS), provided model input data for an integrated pair-wise comparison matrix for soil erosion and for infiltration. Individual criteria weights were determined by decomposing the respective fuzzy synthetic extent matrix using the centroid method. GIS layers were then combined based on criteria weights to produce maps of soil erosion potential and infiltration potential. A composite watershed vulnerability map was generated by equal weighting of each input map. Model results were categorized into five vulnerability categories: not vulnerable (N), slightly vulnerable (SV), moderately vulnerable (MV), highly vulnerable (HV), and extremely vulnerable (EV). The resulting FAHP/GIS model was used to generate a watershed vulnerability map of discrete areas in Bernalillo County, which may be vulnerable to stormwater run-off events and soil erosion. Such high volume run-off events can cause erosion damage to property and infrastructure. Alternatively, in areas near urban development, stormwater run-off may contribute non-point-source pollutant contamination of New Mexico’s surface water resources. The most problematic areas in Bernalillo County are present in the Eastern and Northwestern portions. However, less than 1% of the total area lies within the lowest and highest vulnerability categories with the majority centered around moderate vulnerability. The results of the model were compared with a previously published crisp AHP method. Both methods showed similar regional vulnerability trends. This MCDS/GIS approach is intended to provide support to local governments and decision makers in selection of suitable structural or nonstructural stormwater control measures.
Cite this paper: Sadler, T. , Richardson, C. and Miller, P. (2019) Evaluating Watershed Vulnerability in Bernalillo County, New Mexico Using Expert Testimony, Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process, and GIS. Journal of Water Resource and Protection, 11, 866-885. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2019.117053.
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