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Using Multi-Attribute Utility Analysis to Facilitate Biosolids Master Planning

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The activities of biosolids master planning involve the integration of three essential components: 1) stakeholder views on the successful project, 2) a decision process for narrowing the choices to a solution, and 3) the setting of the stage for facility planning to follow. The stage for facility planning will contain stakeholder consensus on a preferred alternative, the timing of how the alternative is implemented, and agreement on the cost sharing. These essential components were derived from the Multi-attribute Utility Analysis (MUA).

This paper presents a process using MUA specifically for biosolids master planning. A project with the City of Grand Island, Nebraska is provided as an example where this process was utilized. CH2M HILL's Biosolids Master Planning (BMP) Tool provides a platform for project managers and utility managers to efficiently evaluate biosolids management alternatives. The Biosolids Master Planning Tool is a Microsoft Excel-based platform programmed with Visual Basic. The tool uses MUA to compare benefits, cost and benefit-cost for user defined alternatives. The BMP Tool presents rankings of benefits and benefit-costs in tabular and chart form. The tables and graphs can be efficiently integrated into reports.

The benefits of Biosolids Master Planning Tool using MUA are as follows:

The process is thorough and defensible

Both judgments and data can be combined in the solution of the decision

Information collection is focused on the needs of the situation

Assumptions are made explicit and the basis of the decision is auditable

Communication within the public, organization, and among stakeholders is improved
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-01-01

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