Soft Computing

, Volume 23, Issue 24, pp 13615–13625 | Cite as

Comparison of AHP and fuzzy AHP models for prioritization of watersheds

  • Sarita Gajbhiye MeshramEmail author
  • Ehsan Alvandi
  • Vijay P. Singh
  • Chandrashekhar Meshram
Methodologies and Application


Prioritization of watersheds for conservation measures is essential for a variety of functions, such as flood control projects for which determining areas of top priority is a managerial decision that should be based on physical, social, and economic characteristic of the region of interest and the outcome of past operations. The objective of this study therefore was to investigate morphological characteristics and identify critical sub-watersheds which are liable to be damaged, using remote sensing/geographical information systems and multi-criteria decision-making methods AHP/FAHP. Fourteen morphometric parameters were selected to prioritize sub-watersheds using an analytical hierarchical process (AHP) and a fuzzy analytical hierarchical process (FAHP). Based on the FAHP approach, sub-watersheds, as vulnerable zones, were categorized in five priority levels (very high, high, medium, low, and very low levels). The conservation and management measures are essential in the high to very high levels categories. Thus, the FAHP approach is a practical and convenient method to show potential zones in order to implement effective management strategies, especially in areas where data availability is low and soil diversity is high. Finally, without having to encounter high cost and a waste of time, sub-watersheds can be categorized using morphometric parameters for implementing conservational measures to simultaneously conserve soil and the environment.


Watershed Prioritization Analytical hierarchical process Selection criteria Fuzzy analytical hierarchical approach 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarita Gajbhiye Meshram
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ehsan Alvandi
    • 2
  • Vijay P. Singh
    • 3
    • 4
  • Chandrashekhar Meshram
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mathematics and Computer ScienceR. D. UniversityJabalpurIndia
  2. 2.Department of Watershed and Arid Zone ManagementGorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural ResourcesGorganIran
  3. 3.Department of Biological and Agricultural EngineeringTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  4. 4.Zachry Department of Civil EngineeringTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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