Keywords: water harvesting, economic analysis, environmental impact, low rainfall areas, Jordan, cost benefit analysis, CBA, dry areas, simulation, environmental indicators, biomass productivity, barley, shrubs, soil erosion, internal rate of return, IRR, public investment
Economic analysis and environmental impacts of water harvesting techniques in the low rainfall areas of Jordan
Water harvesting has become an important priority for supporting the increasing population in the low rainfall areas of Jordan. The specific objectives of this paper are to assess the economic and environmental impacts of different water–harvesting techniques in Jordan's Badia region. Cost benefit analysis (CBA) was used to estimate the economic impact of using water harvesting techniques. A simple simulation model was used to estimate the environmental indicators related to biomass productivity of barley and shrubs and soil erosion. The internal rate of return (IRR) showed that planting barley with water harvesting was more feasible (IRR 17%) than the farmers' practice of planting barley (IRR 7.85%). The study concluded that the valuation and assessment of environmental benefits associated with implementing water harvesting techniques is important for justifying the public investment for these techniques in the dry areas of Jordan.