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Multicriteria Evaluation of Water Resources Sustainability in the Context of Watershed Management

Authors

  • Min-Goo Kang,

    1. Respectively, Research Fellow, Future Resources Institute, Woolim Lions Valley C-405, 371-28, Gasan-dong, Geumcheon-gu, Seoul 153-786, South Korea
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  • Gwang-Man Lee

    1. Head Researcher, Korea Institute of Water and Environment, K-water (Korea Water Resources Corporation), Daejon 305-730, South Korea
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  • Paper No. JAWRA-10-0038-P of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA). Discussions are open until six months from print publication.

(E-Mail/Kang: kmg1218@gmail.com).

Abstract

Kang, Min-Goo and Gwang-Man Lee, 2011. Multicriteria Evaluation of Water Resources Sustainability in the Context of Watershed Management. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) 47(4):813-827. DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2011.00559.x

Abstract:  To evaluate water resources sustainability at the watershed scale within a river basin’s context, the Water Resources Sustainability Evaluation Model is developed. The model employs 4 criteria (economic efficiency, social equity, environmental conservation, and maintenance capacity) and has 16 indicators, integrating them using their relative weights. The model is applied to evaluate the water resources sustainability of watersheds in the Geum River basin, South Korea. A geographic information system is employed to efficiently build a database for the indicators, and the values of the indicators are normalized using the probability distribution functions fitted to the datasets of the indicators. The evaluation results show that, overall, the water resources sustainability of the watersheds in the upper basin is better than other areas due to the good environmental conditions and the dam management policies of South Korea. The analysis of the correlations among the model’s components and the comparison between the results of the model and the Water Poverty Index show that the model can provide reasonable evaluation results for the water resources sustainability of watersheds. Consequently, it is concluded that the model can be an effective tool for evaluating the states of water resource management from the perspective of sustainable development and provide a basis on which to create policies for improving any inadequacies in watersheds.

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