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A decision support system to find the best water allocation strategies in a Mediterranean river basin in future scenarios of global change

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Global change refers to climate changes, but also demographic, technological and economic changes. Predicted water scarcity will be critical in the coastal Mediterranean region, especially for provision to mid-sized and large-sized cities. This paper studies the case of the city of Tarragona, located at the Mediterranean area of north-eastern Spain (Catalonia). Several scenarios have been constructed to evaluate different sectorial water allocation policies to mitigate the water scarcity induced by global change. Future water supply and demand predictions have been made for three time spans. The decision support system presented is based on the outranking model, which constructs a partial pre-order based on pairwise preference relations among all the possible actions. The system analyses a hierarchical structure of criteria, including environmental and economic criteria. We compare several adaptation measures including alternative water sources, inter-basin water transfer and sectorial demand management coming from industry, agriculture and domestic sectors. Results indicate that the most appropriate water allocation strategies depend on the severity of the global change effects.
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Keywords: decision support systems; environmental modelling; global change; water allocation problem

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: ITAKA Research Group, Departament d'Enginyeria Informàtica i Matemàtiques, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Av. Països Catalans, 26, 43007, Tarragona, Spain 2: AGA Research Group, Departament d'Enginyeria Química, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Av. Països Catalans, 26, 43007, Tarragona, Spain

Publication date: March 3, 2016

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