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Evaluation of stormwater harvesting sites using multi criteria decision methodology

Inamdar, P.M., Sharma, A.K., Cook, Stephen, Perera, B.J.C.
Journal of hydrology 2018 v.562 pp. 181-192
case studies, consultants, decision support systems, environmental factors, geographic information systems, hydrology, local government, multi-criteria decision making, planning, professionals, social factors, stakeholders, urban areas, water harvesting, Australia
Selection of suitable urban stormwater harvesting sites and associated project planning are often complex due to spatial, temporal, economic, environmental and social factors, and related various other variables. This paper is aimed at developing a comprehensive methodology framework for evaluating of stormwater harvesting sites in urban areas using Multi Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA). At the first phase, framework selects potential stormwater harvesting (SWH) sites using spatial characteristics in a GIS environment. In second phase, MCDA methodology is used for evaluating and ranking of SWH sites in multi-objective and multi-stakeholder environment.The paper briefly describes first phase of framework and focuses chiefly on the second phase of framework. The application of the methodology is also demonstrated over a case study comprising of the local government area, City of Melbourne (CoM), Australia for the benefit of wider water professionals engaged in this area. Nine performance measures (PMs) were identified to characterise the objectives and system performance related to the eight alternative SWH sites for the demonstration of the application of developed methodology. To reflect the stakeholder interests in the current study, four stakeholder participant groups were identified, namely, water authorities (WA), academics (AC), consultants (CS), and councils (CL). The decision analysis methodology broadly consisted of deriving PROMETHEE II rankings of eight alternative SWH sites in the CoM case study, under two distinct group decision making scenarios.The major innovation of this work is the development and application of comprehensive methodology framework that assists in the selection of potential sites for SWH, and facilitates the ranking in multi-objective and multi-stakeholder environment. It is expected that the proposed methodology will assist the water professionals and managers with better knowledge that will reduce the subjectivity in the selection and evaluation of SWH sites.