Integrated Fuzzy AHP-TOPSIS Model for Assessing Managed Aquifer Recharge Potential in a Hot Dry Region: A Case Study of Djibouti at a Country Scale

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Mouhoumed R. M., Ekmekcioğlu Ö., Başakın E. E., Özger M.

Water (Switzerland), vol.15, no.14, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 15 Issue: 14
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/w15142534
  • Journal Name: Water (Switzerland)
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Aqualine, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), CAB Abstracts, Compendex, Environment Index, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, Geobase, INSPEC, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: fuzzy AHP, groundwater, managed aquifer recharge, sensitivity analysis, suitability mapping, TOPSIS
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Given the prevailing arid climate and rapid population growth, groundwater resources face unprecedented challenges globally, including depletion, seawater intrusion, and contamination. Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) technologies have emerged as valuable solutions to address these pressing issues. However, identifying suitable regions for MAR activities is a complex task, particularly at the country level. Therefore, in this study, we propose a robust approach that combines the fuzzy analytical hierarchy process (AHP) and the technique for order of preference by similarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS) to delineate suitable sites for MAR structures. The proposed model was applied to Djibouti, a hot, dry, and water-stressed country. We identified a set of nine decision criteria and conducted a pairwise comparison survey to determine their relative importance. Additionally, the TOPSIS method was employed to integrate the decision layers and prioritize the study area. The results highlight the significance of rainfall, the slope, and the NDVI as the most influential decision parameters, while the drainage density has the least impact. A suitability analysis reveals that 16.38%, 17.96%, and 30.41% of the country have a very high, high, and moderate potential for MAR activities, respectively. Furthermore, a sensitivity analysis demonstrates the stability of the proposed model, affirming the usefulness of the generated suitability map.