An index-based robust decision making framework for watershed management in a changing climate

Yeonjoo Kim, Eun Sung Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


This study developed an index-based robust decision making framework for watershed management dealing with water quantity and quality issues in a changing climate. It consists of two parts of management alternative development and analysis. The first part for alternative development consists of six steps: 1) to understand the watershed components and process using HSPF model, 2) to identify the spatial vulnerability ranking using two indices: potential streamflow depletion (PSD) and potential water quality deterioration (PWQD), 3) to quantify the residents' preferences on water management demands and calculate the watershed evaluation index which is the weighted combinations of PSD and PWQD, 4) to set the quantitative targets for water quantity and quality, 5) to develop a list of feasible alternatives and 6) to eliminate the unacceptable alternatives. The second part for alternative analysis has three steps: 7) to analyze all selected alternatives with a hydrologic simulation model considering various climate change scenarios, 8) to quantify the alternative evaluation index including social and hydrologic criteria with utilizing multi-criteria decision analysis methods and 9) to prioritize all options based on a minimax regret strategy for robust decision. This framework considers the uncertainty inherent in climate models and climate change scenarios with utilizing the minimax regret strategy, a decision making strategy under deep uncertainty and thus this procedure derives the robust prioritization based on the multiple utilities of alternatives from various scenarios. In this study, the proposed procedure was applied to the Korean urban watershed, which has suffered from streamflow depletion and water quality deterioration. Our application shows that the framework provides a useful watershed management tool for incorporating quantitative and qualitative information into the evaluation of various policies with regard to water resource planning and management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-102
Number of pages15
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Mar 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was financially supported by a grant ( 11-TI-C06 ) from Advanced Water Management Research Program funded by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of Korean government. This study was also supported by the funding from the Basic Science Research Program of the National Research Foundation of Korea ( 2010–0010609 ).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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