Prioritization of Sustainable Water Management Strategies in Arid and Semi-Arid Regions Using SWOT Coupled AHP Technique to addressing SDGs
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University of Tehran
Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra
Mohammad Ebrahim Banihabib   

University of Tehran
Submission date: 2020-06-12
Final revision date: 2020-08-04
Acceptance date: 2020-08-09
Publication date: 2020-09-30
Acta Sci. Pol. Formatio Circumiectus 2020;19(2):35–52
Aim of the study:
Water shortage in arid regions should be addressed strategically. The proposes a framework for determining and prioritizing sustainable water management strategies based on Sustainable Development Goal 6.

Material and methods:
In this research, the water resources management strategies in the Central Desert Basin of Iran were derived by using brainstorming technique and analyzing Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT). Then, these strategies were ranked using the Analytic Hierarchy Process based on the sustainable development criteria.

Results and conclusions:
As a result, 9 strategies were developed, and assessed by the sustainable development criteria including four categories, economic, social, environmental, and technical ones. The result of assessing strategies showed that the strategy of "constructing a wastewater collection and a treatment network and reusing wastewater in industry and agriculture” was ranked in the first place and the strategy of “transferring water from the adjacent basins” was placed in the last rank. The results of sensitivity analysis showed that the model is sensitive to all of the sustainable development criteria except to the "feasibility" criterion. Additionally, the model is more sensitive to the criterion of the "socio-cultural acceptance and participation of stakeholders” rather than the other criteria. Generally, the high-ranked strategies are grouped as the continuous and improvement strategies whereas the invasive strategies are ranked last. These results reveal the willingness of the professionals to meet the challenges of water scarcity in the long term and relying on the strengths of the region rather than solving the problem at once which causes damages to the environment and natural resources.