Multi-attribute Decision-making to Rank Urban Water Supply Schemes

Document Type : Research Paper


1 M.Sc., in Hydraulic Structures, Dept. of Civil Engineering, Iran Univ. of Science & Technology

2 Professor, Dept. of Civil Engineering, Iran Univ. of Science and Technology


The increasing trend in (urban) water demand due to population growth places a growing stress on available water resources and calls for an efficient and acceptable long-term management of the resources. Hence, application of multi-attribute decision-making systems is essential for evaluating urban water supply schemes. A number of multi-attribute decision-making methods have been developed. This paper aims to survey the application of such systems to urban water supply problems and the effects of each multi-attribute decision-making method selected on the final ranking of alternatives. Three methods of Induced Ordered Weighted Averaging (IOWA), Linear Assignment (LA), and TOPSIS have been considered for a real urban water management case study in the city of Zahedan in Iran. The results revealed that the multi-attribute decision-making method selected had a considerable effect on the final ranking of a finite set of alternatives such that different MADM techniques yielded different results for the same problem. It is, therefore, necessary to select the method according to the specific characteristics of the problem at hand, type of data available, and the assessments made. The ultimate alternative must be, thus, selected once evaluations have been made of the results obtained from applying different decision-making methods to the problem.


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