Decision Support Tool for Water Resources Managers in an Environment of Uncertainty

  • J. M. Ndambuki Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, Moi University, Kenya
  • Chris B. M. Stroet Netherlands Institute of Apllied Geosciences, TNO, The Netherlands
  • F. O. Otieno Tswane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa
  • Ed J. M. Veling Faculty of Civil Engineering and Applied Geosciences, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands


Techniques used to solve multi-objective optimization problems, are meant to identify the non-inferior (Pareto set) set of solutions for consideration by the decision maker. This set is usually large and identifying one policy for implementation can be quite challenging. Traditionally, it has been assumed that once this set is identified, it should be presented to the decision maker who should then be left alone to make a choice of a policy for implementation. It is true that the decision maker may not even understand the numerical values presented to him in the name of optimal solutions, hence the choice of a single policy for implementation would be, at best, random. This, therefore, calls for decision support tools, which can help a decision maker choose one policy among others for implementation. This paper presents such a decision support tool, which is developed within the framework of utility theory. The applicability of the tool is demonstrated through an example of a groundwater aquifer whose input parameters are uncertain and is formulated within a multi-objective framework. Results show that such a tool can use supplementary information to assist a decision maker in his search for a single policy to implement, hence quantifying his choice.

eISSN: 1729-5769