Hydro-environmental management of groundwater resources: A fuzzy-based multi-objective compromise approach

Mohammad Reza Alizadeh, Mohammad Reza Nikoo*, Gholam Reza Rakhshandehroo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Sustainable management of water resources necessitates close attention to social, economic and environmental aspects such as water quality and quantity concerns and potential conflicts. This study presents a new fuzzy-based multi-objective compromise methodology to determine the socio-optimal and sustainable policies for hydro-environmental management of groundwater resources, which simultaneously considers the conflicts and negotiation of involved stakeholders, uncertainties in decision makers' preferences, existing uncertainties in the groundwater parameters and groundwater quality and quantity issues. The fuzzy multi-objective simulation-optimization model is developed based on qualitative and quantitative groundwater simulation model (MODFLOW and MT3D), multi-objective optimization model (NSGA-II), Monte Carlo analysis and Fuzzy Transformation Method (FTM). Best compromise solutions (best management policies) on trade-off curves are determined using four different Fuzzy Social Choice (FSC) methods. Finally, a unanimity fallback bargaining method is utilized to suggest the most preferred FSC method. Kavar-Maharloo aquifer system in Fars, Iran, as a typical multi-stakeholder multi-objective real-world problem is considered to verify the proposed methodology. Results showed an effective performance of the framework for determining the most sustainable allocation policy in groundwater resource management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)540-554
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017


  • Fuzzy social choice
  • Fuzzy transformation method
  • Groundwater contamination
  • Multi-stakeholder hydro-environmental management
  • NSGA-II multi-objective optimization model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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