Haie, Naim and Andrew A. Keller, 2012. Macro, Meso, and Micro-Efficiencies in Water Resources Management: A New Framework Using Water Balance. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) 48(2): 235-243. DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2011.00611.x
Abstract: One of the most important performance indicators for water resources systems (WRSs) management is efficiency. Here, water balance, based on mass conservation, is utilized to systemically develop three levels of composite efficiency indicators for a WRS, which are configurable based on two types of water totals: total inflow and total consumption (outflow that effectively is not available for reuse). The indices characterize hydrology of an area by including in their formulations the flow dynamics at three integrated levels. Furthermore, the usefulness of water is incorporated into the indicators by defining two weights: one for quality, and the other for beneficial attributes of water use. Usefulness Criterion is the product of quality and beneficial weights, emphasizing the equal significance of the two dimensions. Both of these weights depend on the system itself and the priorities of the supervising organization, which also are shaped by the objectives and values of the given society. These concepts lead to the definition of Macro, Meso, and Micro-Efficiencies, which form a set of integrated indicators that explicitly promotes stakeholder involvement in evaluation and design of WRSs. Macro, Meso, and Micro-Efficiencies should be maximized for both water totals, which is an integrated prerequisite for sustainability and is less promoted by competing stakeholders. To demonstrate this new framework, it is applied to published data for urban and agricultural cases and some results are explained.