Water Resources Management: Economic Valuation and Participatory Multi-Criteria Optimization

K. Fedra, M. Kubat, and M. Zuvela-Aloise (Austria)


Water resources management, IWRM, multicriteria optimization, participatory decision making, Mediterranean region, Internet, stakeholder involvement, economic valuation.


OPTIMA (http://www.ess.co.at/OPTIMA) is a EU funded international RTD project on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) on the river basin scale, based on the concepts of the EU Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC). The project integrates a set of simulation models with data bases, GIS, and optimisation and DSS tools. The fully web-based management information system is being applied to several river basins ranging from 240 to 18,000 km2 in size around the Eastern and Southern Mediterranean. All these river systems are characterised by varying levels of water scarcity, allocation conflicts, and pollution problems. The system integrates a cascade of models, embedded in a framework for participatory multi-objective, multi-criteria optimization. Models include a dynamic water resources (network) model with a daily time step, coupled to one or more aquifers. The model performs economic evaluation of allocation scenarios including environmental water allocation and the reliability of supply/demand; a dynamic rainfall-runoff model with built-in automatic calibration that provides simulated flow from engaged sub catchments; an irrigation water demand model; a basin wide water quality model with economic evaluation including environmental and recreational benefits; and tools for multi-criteria techno-economic optimisation combining satisficing and reference point methods. Direct stakeholder involvement is supported with on-line questionnaires of issues and perceptions, interactive optimisation tools, but also more traditional workshops.

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