Water Resources Management

, Volume 29, Issue 15, pp 5713–5727 | Cite as

Development of a Multi Criteria Decision Making Tool for a Water Resources Decision Support System

  • B. Asl Rousta
  • S. Araghinejad


A new tool, Spatial Multi Criteria Decision Making model (SMCDM), is developed for the well-known Water Evaluation and Planning System (WEAP) allocation model facilitating Multi Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) process. Being able to tightly link with WEAP, this tool functions as extension software. The framework of the MCDM procedure in this extension software has a hierarchical structure in which two levels of decision making are taken into consideration. The first level is a Multi Objective Decision Making (MODM) and the second is a Multi Attribute Decision Making (MADM). Three different objectives namely Supply-demand Equilibrium, Drought Mitigation and Economic Efficiency are considered for the analysis and prioritization of river basin management strategies in the MODM whereas for each objective, several attributes are taken into account through different MADMs at the second level. The developed tool benefits from the ability of spatial weighting through which physical, economic and socio-environmental aspects are considered in a weighting process. The combination of WEAP and developed SMCDM is applied to prioritize different management strategies of meeting domestic water demand in Gorganrud river basin in Iran. The results confirmed the applicability of the proposed tool that facilitates impact analyses of water resources development plans in a river basin.


WEAP SMCDM Decision support systems Regional assessment Impact assessment 



The authors wish to thank Mr. Jack Sieber, a senior scientist at SEI for his technical help in employing WEAP. Also three anonymous reviewers are acknowledged for their constructive comments.


  1. Al-Omari A, Al-Quraan S, Al-Salihi A, Abdulla F (2009) A water management support system for Amman Zarqa Basin in Jordan. Water Resour Manag 23:3165–3189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Andreu J, Capilla J, Sanchís E (1996) AQUATOOL, a generalized decision-support system for waterresources planning and operational management. J Hydrol 177:269–291CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. de Condappa D, Chaponnière A, Lemoalle J (2009) A decision-support tool for water allocation in the Volta Basin. Water Int 34:71–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Fedra K, Jamieson DG (1996) The ‘WaterWare’ decision-support system for river-basin planning. 2. Planning capability. J Hydrol 177:177–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Fowe T, Nouiri I, Ibrahim B, Karambiri H, Paturel J (2015) OPTIWAM: an intelligent tool for optimizing irrigation water management in coupled reservoir–groundwater systems. Water Resour Manag 115:1–21Google Scholar
  6. Geng G, Wardlaw R (2013) Application of multi-criterion decision making analysis to integrated water resources management. Water Resour Manag 27:3191–3207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hadded R et al (2013) A decision support system to manage the groundwater of the zeuss koutine aquifer using the WEAP-MODFLOW framework. Water Resour Manag 27:1981–2000CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hajkowicz S, Collins K (2007) A review of multiple criteria analysis for water resource planning and management. Water Resour Manag 21:1553–1566CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hajkowicz S, Higgins A (2008) A comparison of multiple criteria analysis techniques for water resource management. Eur J Oper Res 184:255–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hashimoto T, Stedinger JR, Loucks DP (1982) Reliability, resiliency, and vulnerability criteria for water resource system performance evaluation. Water Resour Res 18:14–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hipel KW (1992) Multiple objective decision making in water resources. J Am Water Resour Assoc 28:3–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Höllermann B, Giertz S, Diekkrüger B (2010) Benin 2025—Balancing future water availability and demand using the WEAP ‘Water Evaluation and Planning’System. Water Resour Manag 24:3591–3613CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Huang S, Krysanova V, Zhai J, Su B (2015) Impact of intensive irrigation activities on river discharge under agricultural scenarios in the semi-arid Aksu River basin, northwest China. Water Resour Manag 29:945–959CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hwang CL, Yoon KS (1981) Multiple attribute decision-making: methods and applications. Springer, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hwang CL, Lai YJ, Liu TY (1993) A new approach for multiple objective decision making. Comp Oper Res 20:889–899CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Jamieson DG, Fedra K (1996a) The ‘WaterWare’ decision-support system for river-basin planning. 1. Conceptual design. J Hydrol 177:163–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Jamieson DG, Fedra K (1996b) The ‘WaterWare’ decision-support system for river-basin planning. 3. Example applications. J Hydrol 177:199–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Karamouz M, Zahraie B, Araghinejad S (2005) Decision support system for monthly operation of hydropower reservoirs: a case study. J Comput Civil Eng 19:194–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kronaveter L, Shamir U (2007) Negotiation support system for resolution of disputes over international water resources. In: Castelletti A, Soncini Sessa R (eds) Topics on system analysis and integrated water resource management. Elsevier, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  20. Labadie JW (2006) MODSIM: Decision Support System for Integrated River Basin Management. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the iEMSs Third Biennial Meeting: “Summit on Environmental Modelling and Software”. International Environmental Modelling and Software Society, Burlington, VT USA, July 2006Google Scholar
  21. Li X, Zhao Y, Shi C, Sha J, Wang Z-L, Wang Y (2015) Application of Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) model for water resources management strategy estimation in coastal Binhai New Area, China. Ocean Coast Manag 106:97–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Loucks DP, Stedinger JR, Haith DA (1981) Water resources systems planning and management. Prentice-Hall, Englewood CliffsGoogle Scholar
  23. Mahan RC, Horbulyk TM, Rowse JG (2002) Market mechanisms and the efficient allocation of surface water resources in southern Alberta. Socio Econ Plan Sci 36:25–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Malczewski J (1999) GIS and multicriteria decision analysis. John Wiley & Sons Inc., New YorkGoogle Scholar
  25. Microsoft Office Access (2007) vol 2007, 2007 edn. Microsoft Corporation, RedmondGoogle Scholar
  26. Mutikanga HE, Sharma SK, Vairavamoorthy K (2011) Multi-criteria decision analysis: a strategic planning tool for water loss management. Water Resour Manag 25:3947–3969CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Raskin P, Hansen E, Zhu Z, Stavisky D (1992) Simulation of water supply and demand in the Aral Sea Region. Water Int 17:55–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sandoval-Solis S, Teasley RL, McKinney DC, Thomas GA, Patino-Gomez C (2013) Collaborative modeling to evaluate water management scenarios in the Rio Grande Basin. J Am Water Resour Assoc 49:639–653CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Serageldin I (1995) Water resources management: a new policy for a sustainable future. Water Int 20:15–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sieber J, Purkey D (2011) Water evaluation and planning system, user guide. Stockholm Environment Institute, U.S. Center, SomervilleGoogle Scholar
  31. Silva-Hidalgo H, Martín-Domínguez IR, Alarcón-Herrera MT, Granados-Olivas A (2009) Mathematical modelling for the integrated management of water resources in hydrological basins. Water Resour Manag 23:721–730CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Singh VP, Frevert DK (2006) Watershed models. CRC Press Taylor &Francis Group, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  33. Srdjevic B, Medeiros YDP, Faria AS (2004) An objective multi-criteria evaluation of water management scenarios. Water Resour Manag 18:35–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Teasley RL, McKinney DC (2011) Water resources management in the Rio Grande/Bravo basin using cooperative game theory. In: Ganoulis J, Fried J, Aureli A (eds) Transboundary water management — a multidisciplinary approach. Wiley-VCH, WeinheimGoogle Scholar
  35. Visual Basic 6.0 (1998) 6.0 edn. Microsoft Corporation, RedmondGoogle Scholar
  36. Vonk E, Xu Y, Booij M, Zhang X, Augustijn D (2014) Adapting multireservoir operation to shifting patterns of water supply and demand. Water Resour Manag 28:625–643CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Yates D, Sieber J, Purkey D, Huber-Lee A (2005) WEAP21 – a demand, priority, and preference-driven water planning model, part 1: model characteristics. Water Int 30:487–500CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Zagona EA, Fulp TJ, Shane R, Magee T, Goranflo HM (2001) RiverWare: a generalized tool for complex reservoir system modeling. J Am Water Resour Assoc 37:913–929CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Zarghami M, Szidarovszky F (2011) Multicriteria analysis: applications to water and environment management. Springer Science & Business Media, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  40. Zeleny M (1982) Multiple criteria decision making. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Civil and Environmental EngineeringAmirkabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic)TehranIran
  2. 2.College of Agriculture and Natural resourcesUniversity of TehranKarajIran

Personalised recommendations