ASSESSMENT, MONITORING AND EARLY WARNING SYSTEM FOR DESERTIFICATION BASED ON WATER CRITERION (CASE TUDY: KASHAN, IRAN)
Desertification is the third most important global challenge after crisis of water shortage and drought in the 21st century. Many countries, especially developing countries, are faced this phenomenon. Identifying the regions exposed to this phenomenon is so important for combating desertification. Regarding to the importance of this phenomenon, in this study, we assessed desertification in Kashan, Iran, using IMDPA model and GIS software. According to the region condition, water was selected as the criterion and some indices were identified for it. For monitoring, the effect of criterion and indices changes was investigated during 1966–1974, 1974–1992, 1992–2002 and 2002–2011. Finally, for providing the desertification early warning system, data related to the criterion and indices were collected during 2003–2011 and the threshold of each index was determined. The results showed that the class of desertification based on Electrical Conductivity index was very severe in the study area, so this index is one of the most important desertification indices in arid areas in Iran.