Publications Details
Publications Details



Author: T. Milgrom, Y. Bensabat, J. Guttman

Year: 2009

Publisher: European Water Resources Association (EWRA)


The concept of IWRM is to apply a holistic approach to the water resources management problem (from both quantity and quality aspects) and its interaction with social implications, in a watershed or a group of watersheds, possibly across national borders. The implementation of IWRM is demonstrated for the Kaliya region, which is one of the pilot study areas in the SAMRT project. The Kaliya region is located at north-west of the Dead Sea, which is an arid zone with average precipitation of less than 100mm per year. The area is isolated from the main Israeli national water systems and the water supply depends solely on local sources. The water is used for domestic purposes and for agriculture (which is the main economic activity and source of income). Any increase in water demand has to be drawn from the local water sources, thus imposing substantial stresses. A
Multi Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) process was applied for qualifying and ranking various alternatives of water utilization, according to a number of criteria of different and often competing nature. MCDM aims at highlighting these conflicts and deriving ways to reach a compromise in a process that is rather transparent. The goals of a certain project or action have to be defined by decision variables and need to be maximized subject to constraints. Multiple conflicting criteria can be formally incorporated into the water management planning process by using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method which is based on comparative judgment of alternatives and synthesis of priorities. The AHP method is designated to assist the decision maker to rank predefined alternatives according to a set of predefined criteria, following a pair-wise comparison process. The water policies for this region are: converting water for agricultural uses; increasing domestic water consumption as a result of urban/rural development; and prioritizing water supply for the tourism (as this sector has the highest potential of income/per allocated cubic meter). The future development depends on reliability of the water supply (quantities and qualities). The availability of the fresh water is the limiting factor for any future development, especially during the peak demand seasons. The constraints are bound with availability of the different water resources (fresh water, brackish water from springs and sewage). The water clients were classified into 4 categories (domestic use, agriculture, tourism and nature) and their water demand was recognized. Numerous policy complex problems for this region were characterized as goals (multiple criteria), after defining four main future management scenarios for each client. The criteria of which the policy makers needed to analyze and facilitate their decision making were: Protecting the fresh water body from deterioration, minimizing the gap between demand and supply, especially on peak days, and maximizing the client’s economic profit. The next step was to analyze efficiently the multi criteria problems and determine which objective out-weight another, by recognizing the necessity for trade-offs between the alternatives to best serve the common interest of the study area.