Skip to main content

Multiobjective Water Resource Planning

Multiobjective Water Resource Planning

David C. Major

ISBN: 978-1-118-66536-7 March 2013 American Geophysical Union 81 Pages



Published by the American Geophysical Union as part of the Water Resources Monograph Series, Volume 4.

His volume, the fourth in the American Geophysical Union's Water Resources Monograph Series, is an exposition of multiobjective water resource planning. The multiobjective approach is, I believe, an approach that will enable water resource planners to improve substantially the social value of the projects that they build or, in the case of management plans, implement. As a not unwelcome side effect the multiobjective approach should provide a more satisfying professional life to planners and engineers. It requires more effort in the early stages of planning than simpler criteria such as the traditional benefit-cost analysis that it replaces, but at the same time, multiobjective analysis frees the planner from the burden of designing projects that are not fully representative of the social, economic, environmental, and other objectives that govern public investment in water resources.



1. Introduction  1

2. Theory of Multiobjective Planning Choice of Objectives for Analysis  9

Net Benefits  10

Social Preferences 12

Optimal Investment Program  13

Weights, Constraints, and Other Aspects of Multiobjective Theory  13

Design and Display Objectives 16

Iterative Nature of Multiobjective Planning: Four Steps of Planning  19

Management and Development Alternatives Outside the Water Sector 20

Multiobjective Planning in Other Countries 20

3. Investment Criteria for Multiobjective Analysis

Multiobjective Benefit-Cost Accounting 21

National Income  22

Some Words of Caution  27

National Income Benefits and Costs in the Context of Less Developed Countries 28

Regional Income and Other Regional Objectives  29

Environmental Quality, Social, and Other Objectives 32

Some Older Terminology 34

Alternative Costs as a Measure of Multiobjective Benefits  35

Multiobjective Interest Rates  36

Using Multiobjective Interest Rates  38

Scheduling of Multiobjective Water Resourcs Projects and Programs 42

Budget Constraints  43

Risk and Uncertainty in Multiobjective Planning  47

Pricing and Cost-Sharing Policies for Multiobjectives 49

4. Multiobjective Planning in Practice

Guidelines for Key Aspects of Multiobjective Planning 51

Selection of Objectives in Practice  51

Objectivesin Less Developed Countries 52

Developing System Designs Reflecting Objectives 53

Communication Policy for Multiobjective Planning 56

Multiobjective Planning in Practice: Four Cases  57

NAR Water Resources Study  58

Rio Colorado, Argentina, Study 62

Big Walnut Study  69

Managua Irrigation Scheme 75

Multiobjective Water Resource Planning in the United States: Needed Extensions  76

References 79