OPTIMA: Optimisation   for Sustainable
Water Resources Management

Project Related Publications

Participative Approach in Water Resource Planning within Mediterranean Region:
the experience of stakeholders' active involvement
in the case study of Lower Litani River Basin (Lebanon).

Gemini, G., Parolin, M., Sachero, V. 
Via Cicco Simonetta 17 I-20123 Milano, Italy


The EU 6thFP INCO-MPC project OPTIMA (Optimisation for Sustainable Water Management) has the aim to support and test the implementation of the Water Frame Directive (WFD 2000-60-EC) in the Mediterranean region providing the on-line available Decision Support System WaterWare based on multicriteria analysis. It has been tested in seven pilot water basins respectively in Cyprus, Turkey, Tunisia, Morocco, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel/Palestine. The proposed methodology equally considers economic efficiency, environmental compatibility and social equity as the pillars of sustainable development and implementation of water basin plans, involving stakeholders in all the steps of the decision-making process. Within OPTIMA framework, special care has been given by corridoio.zero to the definition of a suitable participative decision-making procedure. According to the integrated assessment approach, challenging issues like including evaluation criteria and planning objectives related to local social and cultural framework are carried out. Two rounds of on-field participative workshops are realized in two of the seven case studies: the first round concerning the problem assessment and conceptualization, the second one concerning the evaluation phase and the final choice of best trade-off alternatives.

The proposed active-involvement methodology has the aim to explicit and manage structural conflicts among stakeholders, to improve the shared knowledge of the territory in order to make analysts (i.e., scientists, engineers and architects) able to build a reliable model of the system for the simulation of effects of different alternatives. Evaluation criteria, defined interactively with stakeholders, are the basis of the final negotiation, opportunely supported by facilitation tools.

The experience of the first round of the participative process carried out in the Lower Litani River Basin in Lebanon (September 2005) gave the opportunity to test and enhance the general methodological scheme. A critical analysis of this experience together with the developed guidelines for implementing participation in water basin planning will be introduced in this paper.


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