Date of Graduation

12-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Dynamics (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Graduate School

Advisor

Thomas R. Paradise

Committee Member

Van Brahana

Second Committee Member

Jackson Cothren

Abstract

In Jordan, demand for water for agricultural purposes has put a high strain on aquifer resources. Water mining, erosion, and desertification have all increased as global temperatures rise. This along with fragmentation of the landscape have altered the environment in a profound way. The Madaba Plain was chosen for this study due to the agricultural activities that take place there, as well as the proximity to a number of population centers. The purpose of the study is to examine how fragmentation of irrigated landscape has affected the aquifers underneath, while taking into account perceptions of risk of the local population. Data for the study was acquired through a number of sources. Demographic and Likert Scale data were obtained by distributing written surveys that participants completed and returned. Remotely-sensed data were obtained from the USGS through the glovis.gov website for the years of 1991, 1998, 2002, and 2006. Finally, groundwater data were obtained from the Ministry of Water and Irrigation in Amman. The results of the study showed some surprising and unanticipated trends. Generally, the Likert scale answers had a low mean, and showed that respondents did not have much awareness about any of the hazards put before them. The awareness levels did demonstrate a geographic trend, where awareness generally increased from north to south. While landuse between the four time periods did not change significantly, depth to water measurements showed high variability. Analysis of continuity index for the study showed no significant relationships between fragmentation and water depth.

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