Harvesting and Spreading of Water in Closed Contour Dykes for The Development of Vegetation Cover and Desertification Reduction in The Syrian Badia

Atef Abdul Aal*(1) Linda Droubi(2) and Ameera Al-Khazaal(3)

(1). Sweida Research Centre, General Commission for Scientific Agriculture Research (GCSAR), Damascus, Syria.

(2). Latakia Research Centre. GCSAR, Damascus, Syria.

(3). Homs Research Centre, GCSAR, Damascus, Syria.

(*Correspondin author: Eng. Atef Abdul Aal. E-Mail: atefabdulaal@yahoo.com).

Received: 25/12/2017                                Accepted: 06/07/2018


The research was carried out near one of the main seasonal valleys of the basin in Qaryatein village during the seasons 2009, 2010 and 2011, on a watershed area about 62 km2, and an annual rainfall rate of 118 mm. The research designed to create four closed contour dykes with perpendicular bunds at each end of the dyke, according to the topographic slope, and the maximum height of 120 cm for the dyke, with diversion bunds on the valley bed, to concentrate the surface runoff, and turn part of it into the contour closed dykes, to study the effect of the average depth of storage (17 and 35 cm, and the control without storage), to ensure the appropriate soil moisture for the production of fodder crops (vetch, and barley), and to increase the pastoral grazing capacity under dry land conditions, as well as soil conservation and erosion control. Diversions of contour dykes converting part of the water runoff to only 29% of the total flood into the effluent outside the valley, where the lower areas were not deprived of flood water. The results showed the improve efficiency of the use of runoff water at a rainfall rate of (118 mm/year) to 400 mm/year due to storage behind the of dykes, and increase the soil moisture from (6%) in the control to more than (16%) behind the dykes. All depths of storage gave good productivity, amounted to an average of 2600 kg/ha barley seeds and 1600 kg/ha straw, 2600 kg/ha barley and 1600 kg/ha straw, but did not exceed 120 kg/ha seeds, 70 kg/ha straw. For vetch, the average yield was 2.300 kg/ha seeds, and 1850 kg/ha straw, while the control had 155 kg/ha seeds, and 110 kg/ha straw. Water erosion was controlled by (55%) compared to the control, without techniques, and the pastoral grazing capacity increased from 25 ha/head/year to less than 0.1 ha/head/year.

Keywords: Dams, Runoff, Water harvesting, Erosion.

Full paper in Arabic: PDF