Ranking of Cultural Methods for Optimal Domestic Water Consumption in Metropolitan Cities Using the Integrated Grey-AHP and Grey-TOPSIS Model

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Former Graduate Student, Dept. of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

2 Prof., Dept. of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Water and Environment Research Institute, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

3 Assist. Prof., Dept. of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran


The scarcity of water resources and the increasing demand for household water, as a result of urban population growth, have made it difficult for the citizens to supply the water they need in metropolises. Therefore, it is necessary to reduce the amount of domestic water consumption in metropolitan areas using management and consumption control strategies. One of the most effective methods to modify the pattern of water consumption is changing the consumers’ behavior for efficient water use. (Social) Media advertising, establishing training programs for consumers (citizens), implementing effective training programs in schools, spreading educational brochures among water consumers and and billboard advertising are the most practical approaches to promote water saving behavior in metropolises. The aim of this study is to rank the mentioned methods in changing the water consumption behavior of the citizens. Evaluation and ranking of these methods are carried out applying the integrated method of Grey Analytic Hierarchy Process (Grey-AHP) and Grey-TOPSIS. In this study, Mashhad metropolis was selected as a case study. The results show that (social) media advertising and and billboard advertising are the most influential approaches for promoting the effective consumption of water in Mashhad. Distributing educational brochures, educational materials in schools, and establishing training programs for citizens are ranked second to fourth, respectively. Practical approaches to promote water saving behavior, which are easier to apply, are more appropriate and have a greater influence on reducing water consumption.


Abbaspoor, F., Jalili Ghazizadeh, M. & Attari, J. 2017. Impacts of targeted subsidy act on urban water consumption in city of Mashhad, Journal of Water and Wastewater, 28(1), 65-73. (In Persian)
Alias A. H., Boyle, C. A. & Hassim, S. 2017. Water demand management: a review on the mechanisms to reduce water demand and consumption. International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology, 8(3), 554-564.
Ameri, F. 2017. Statistics of Mashhad 1395, Mashhad Municipality's Deputy for Planning and Human Capital Development, Mashhad. (In Persian)
Amiri, M., Darestani Farahani, A. & Mahboob Ghodsi, M. 2016. Multi-criteria decision making, Kian Press, Tehran. (In Persian)
Ansari, H. & Salehnia, N. 2014. Evaluation of effective parameters on urban water consumption using gamma test technique. Journal of Water and Wastewater, 1(1), 2-13. (In Persian)
Arbues, F., Bolsa, M. A. & Villanua, I. 2015. Which factors determine water saving behaviour? evidence from spanish households. Urban Water Journal, 13(5), 511-520.
Atashi, M., Davari, K. & Sharifi, M. B. 2016. Simulation of the integrated appropriation of surface water and underground drinking water in Mashhad, Journal of Water and Wastewater, 26(5), 23-34. (In Persian)
Baumann, D. D., Boland, J. J. & Hanemann, W. M. 1998. Urban water demand management and planning, McGraw Hill Professional, New York.
Davarpanah, G. 2005. The effects of water-absorbent materials on water supply for tree planting in the semi-arid regions. Journal of Water and Wastewater, 16(1), 62-69. (In Persian)
Fallahi, M. A., Ansari, H. & Moghaddas, S. 2012. Evaluating effective factors on household water consumption and forecasting its demand: panel data approach. Journal of Water and Wastewater, 23(4), 78-87. (In Persian)
Garcia-Rubio, M. A., Ruiz-Villaverde, A. & Gonzalez-Gomez, F. 2015. Urban water tariffs in Spain: what needs to be done?, Water, 7, 1456-1479.
Garcia, X., Ribas, A., Llausas, A. & Sauri, D. 2013. Socio-demographic profiles in suburban developments: implicationsfor water-related attitudes and behaviors along the Mediterranean coast. Applied Geography, 41(5), 46-54.
Ghodsipoor, S. H. 2016. Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), Amir Kabir University of Technology Publications, Tehran. (In Persian)
Ince, M., Yigit, T., & Isik. A. H. 2017. AHP-TOPSIS method for learning object metadata evaluation, International Journal of Information and Education Technology, 7(12), 884-887.
Justes, A., Barberan, R. & Farizo, B. A. 2014. Economic valuation of domestic water uses. Science of the Total Environment, 472, 712-718.
Kholfi, A. A., Shiri, G. & Poorashraf, Y. 2018. Investigating the consumption pattern of domestic water by segmentation approach for water consumers (case study: domestic water consumers in Ilam city), Journal of Water and Wastewater, 29(2), 59-67. (In Persian)
Maleki, F., Eftekhar, H. & Gholamrezaei, S. 2014. Investigating the strategies for institutionalization of optimum and sustainable water consumption culture, 2nd National Conference on Water Crisis, Shahrekord University, Shahrekord. (In Persian)
Maleki nasab, A., Abrishamchi, A. & Tajrishi, M. 2007. Assessment of residential water conservation due to using low-flow fixtures, Journal of Water and Wastewater, 18(2), 2-11. (In Persian)
Maleki nasab, A., Tabesh, M. & Ghalibaf Sarshoori, M. 2010. Assessment of household water saving due to using water-efficient fixtures and faucets, Iran-Water Resources Research, 6(2), 36-45. (In Persian)
Mohammadi, A. & Mowlaei, N. 2010. Applying multi-criteria grey decision making in evaluating the performance of companies. Industrial Management Journal, 2(4), 125-142. (In Persian)
Moosavi, S. N., Mohammadi, H. & Soltani, G. 2008. To determine and assess the cost and price elasticity of urban household water use groups with private ownership and rent in the region of Marvdasht, Water Resources Engineering, 1(1), 67-76. (In Persian)
Najafzadeh, H. 2016. Study and analysis of international experiences of adaptation to dehydration and drought and the possibility of using these experiences in the climatic and social conditions of the holy city of Mashhad, Master's thesis, Islamic Azad University of Mashhad, Mashhad. (In Persian)
Rathnayaka, K., Maheepala, S., Nawarathna, B., George, B., Malano, H. & Arora, M. 2014. Factors affecting the variability of household water use in Melbourne, Australia, Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 92(14), 85-94.
Sadeghi, M., Razavi, S. H. & Saberi, N. 2013. Application of grey TOPSIS in preference ordering of action plans in balanced scorecard and strategy map. Informatica, 24(4), 619-635.
Saffari, S., Samiei, M. J., Bigham, F., Zeinali, M., Rasooli, M. B. & Fashaei, M. 2009, A look at the culture of water use in pioneering countries, National Conference on Sustainable Development Patterns in Water Management, Mahab Samen Consulting Engineering Company, Mashhad. (In Persian)
Shahidi, A., Khashei-Siuki, A. & Zeraatkar, Z. 2019. Investigating effective strategies on drinking water demand management in Birjand city. Journal of Water and Wastewater, 30(1), 130-135. (In Persian)
Shan, Y., Yang, L., Perren, K. & Zhang, Y. 2015. Household water consumption: insight from survey in Greece and Poland. Procedia Engineering, 119, 1409-1418.
Sobhaninejad, M. & Afshar, A. 2010. Correction of consumption pattern with an emphasis on the role of education. Social-Cultural Knowledge Journal, 2, 155-170. (In Persian)
Tabesh, M., Alibariani, E., Motevalian, S. S., Roozbehani, A. & Beygi, S. 2017. Prioritization of water consumption management strategies in water distribution networks using multiple criteria decision making method of fuzzy analytic hierarchy process (case study: Tehran), Amirkabir Journal of Civil Engineering, 49(1), 47-56. (In Persian)
Tahamipoor, M. 2017. Economic value, approach for water demand management in industrial use case study: chemical manufacturing industries. Journal of Water and Wastewater, 28(1), 74-83. (In Persian)
Wang, W. & Liu, Z. Z. 2007. Contractors selection based on the grey decision model, International Conference on Wireless Communications, Networking and Mobile Computing, Shanghai, China, 5301-5304.
Willis, R. M., Stewart, R. A. & Giurco, D. P. 2013. End use water consumption in households: impact of sociodemographic factors and efficient devices. Journal of Cleaner Production, 60(2), 107-115.
Yazdandad, H. & Mazloom, B. Z. 2010. Investigating the factors affecting the pattern of water consumption and its optimization in the household (case study: Mashhad city), 3rd National Conference on Operation and Maintenance of Water and Wastewater Systems, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran. (In Persian)
Zebardast, E. 2001. Application of hierarchical analysis process in urban and regional planning. Honarhaye Ziba Publication, 10, 13-21. (In Persian)
Zhu, G., Hu, J., Qi, J. Gu, C. & Peng, Y. 2015. An integrated AHP and VIKOR for design concept evaluation based on rough number. Advanced Engineering Informatics, 29(3), 408-418.
Zohouri, F. V., Rugg-Gunn, A. J., Fletcher, E. S., Hackett, A. F., Moynihan, P. J. & Mathers, J. C. 2004. Changes in water intake of Northumbrian adolescents 1980 to 2000. British Dental Journal, 196(13), 547-552.