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Selection of an appropriate wastewater treatment technology: a scenario-based multiple-attribute decision-making approach

, : Selection of an appropriate wastewater treatment technology: a scenario-based multiple-attribute decision-making approach. Journal of Environmental Management 113: 158-169

Many technological alternatives for wastewater treatment are available, ranging from advanced technologies to conventional treatment options. It is difficult to select the most appropriate technology from among a set of available alternatives to treat wastewater at a particular location. Many factors, such as capital costs, operation and maintenance costs and land requirement, are involved in the decision-making process. Sustainability criteria must also be incorporated into the decision-making process such that appropriate technologies are selected for developing economies such as that of India. A scenario-based multiple-attribute decision-making (MADM) methodology has been developed and applied to the selection of wastewater treatment alternative. The four most commonly used wastewater treatment technologies for treatment of municipal wastewater in India are ranked for various scenarios. Six scenarios are developed that capture the regional and local societal priorities of urban, suburban and rural areas and translate them into the mathematical algorithm of the MADM methodology. The articulated scenarios depict the most commonly encountered decision-making situations in addressing technology selection for wastewater treatment in India. A widely used compensatory MADM technique, TOPSIS, has been selected to rank the alternatives. Seven criteria with twelve indicators are formulated to evaluate the alternatives. Different weight matrices are used for each scenario, depending on the priorities of the scenario. This study shows that it is difficult to select the most appropriate wastewater treatment alternative under the "no scenario" condition (equal weights given to each attribute), and the decision-making methodology presented in this paper effectively identifies the most appropriate wastewater treatment alternative for each of the scenarios.


PMID: 23023038

DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.08.025

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