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Implementation of a multi criteria analysis for the definition of environmental flow from hydroelectric diversions within an IWRM (integrated water resources management) framework

pubblicazioni - Articolo

Implementation of a multi criteria analysis for the definition of environmental flow from hydroelectric diversions within an IWRM (integrated water resources management) framework

The requirement of the European Water Framework Directive (WFD) of maintaining the hydraulic and ecological continuity of rivers in Italy has been partially implemented by the entry into force of the norms which impose the release of the minimum instream flow at any surface water diversion. The flow to be released is defined according to the rule established locally by the Regional Authority on the basis of what is suggested by the River Basin Authority. This is a command and control approach but, according to WFD, the decisional process should be shared with all the stakeholders, involving them since the very beginning. To this end, the use of Multi Criteria Analysis (MCA) seems to be a suitable approach. In this paper we present a case study regarding the application of the proposed approach to a large scale ad hoc experimentation, carried out in Valle dAosta, one of the most important regions in Italy for hydroelectric production. In order to be able to compare different water management policies and different points of view, we proposed the use of multi-criteria analysis (MCA), which allows considering objectives that are in contrast with each other and that are measured with their own metric scale (either quantitative or qualitative). MCA provides a methodology for comparing and ranking different outcomes ; moreover its use forces the involvement of main stakeholders from the beginning and allows a transparent and shared process for decision making. The stakeholders involvement from the very beginning of the process, through a Steering Committee and a Technical Board, can be considered a basic step for the implementation of WFD principles into practice.

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