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01.06.2015 | Ausgabe 8/2015

Water Resources Management 8/2015

Sustainability Evaluation of Surface Water Quality Management Options in Developing Countries: Multicriteria Analysis Using Fuzzy UTASTAR Method

Zeitschrift:
Water Resources Management > Ausgabe 8/2015
Autoren:
Husnain Haider, Pushpinder Singh, Waris Ali, Solomon Tesfamariam, Rehan Sadiq

Abstract

The natural rivers in developing countries have not been meeting their desirable water quality objectives due to discharge of untreated wastewater from domestic and industrial sources for a long time; and thus need to implement rational water quality management (WQM) plans. Overall sustainability of proposed WQM options should not be overlooked during the planning phase due to lack or absence of data. In this research, a framework is proposed for the evaluation of different WQM options to meet the water quality objectives of natural rivers. Five main sustainability criteria (SSC) are considered, including cost (capital, land and operational), land requirements, operation and maintenance issues, environmental impacts, and socio-economic impacts. In addition, several sub-criteria (impacts) have also been included to rationally justify the assessment of SSC by the decision makers (DM). The values of cost and land requirement criteria are calculated; whereas, the other SSC are subjective in nature. However, both types possess uncertainties associated with calculation errors, inherent assumptions, and the differences in DM’s opinions. Further, due to data limitations in developing countries, the ranking order of WQM options established by the DM should be preferred. To deal with such uncertainties and the DM preferences, the Fuzzy UTASTAR multicriteria analysis method (based on linear programing) has been used for sustainability evaluation. To appraise the practicality of the proposed framework, it has been applied to the WQM of the Ravi River in Pakistan. The minimal difference between the DM’s top ranked options affirms the effectiveness of the proposed framework.

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