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Optimisation for Sustainable Water Management

Acronym: OPTIMA
Period: July 2004 till June 2007
Status: Completed

Institutes (12)  Top 

Water is a key resource in the Mediterranean region, and efficient use and allocation are paramount to sustainable development, in particular in the coastal zone of the South and East, undergoing fast economic development, land use and demographic change. The overall aim of OPTIMA is to develop, implement, test, critically evaluate, and exploit an innovative, scientifically rigorous yet practical approach to water resources management intended to increase efficiencies and to reconcile conflicting demands. Based on the European Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) the approach equally considers economic efficiency, environmental compatibility, and social equity as the pillars of sustainable development. The proposed methodology will extend classical optimisation and mathematical programming methodology, in several respects, by:? Using a full-featured dynamic and distributed simulation model and genetic programming as the core to generate feasible and non-dominated alternatives. Water technology alternatives including their cost structure, and up-to-date remote-sensing derived land use information are primary inputs;? Extending the set of objectives, criteria and constraints through expert systems technology to include difficult to quantify environmental and social dimensions;? Putting specific emphasis on local acceptance and implementation through the inclusion of stake-holders in an interactive, participatory decision making process carefully embedded in institutional structures, using a discretemulti-criteria reference point methodology;? Comparative evaluation and benchmarking across the set of local and regional case studies in 12 countries, namely Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Malta, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Tunisia and Morocco around the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean. The project also aims at building a wide dissemination network of expertise and knowledge exchange sharing its findings and generic data.

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