A strategy for decision making in water resources planning for developing countries
Water resources development -- Decision making.
Water resources development -- Developing countries.
Committee ChairInce, Simon
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractLack of adequate hydrologic information has been one of the major reasons for postponement of many water resource developments in developing countries. Many of these decisions to postpone developments that have been reviewed by the author have been found to be arbitrary and not based on the extent of benefit that the additional information would contribute. Due to lack of understanding of the implications and natural tendency towards risk aversion, the beneficiaries are deprived of goods and services which the development would have produced. In this dissertation a decision strategy which can guide decision makers to determine if the additional information is essential, is developed. The strategy is derived from the concepts of the three currently used decision methodologies in water resources: namely, the cost-effectiveness, benefit-cost and the Bayesian decision methodologies. The concepts of these methodologies have been selected and combined for their appropriateness to particular phases of the decision process. Description of the analytical procedure in the use of the strategy is given, and some analytical methods that can be used in the procedure have also been suggested and discussed. The applicability of the strategy is demonstrated by applying it to a case study involving a decision that was taken to postpone a simple irrigation project in Ghana. Three alternative plans for the irrigation project were evaluated, based on selected decision criteria. The results of the study indicated that the local hydrologic factors in the project analyzed were not critical to the design decision, and errors due to hydrologic uncertainties would be damped out in the evaluation of the economic feasibility. The design decision proved to be more sensitive to the economic and technological factors. The insensitivity of the design decision to the hydrologic factors was attributed to a combination of climatic and topographical conditions existing in the river basin. Based on the results of the study, a rule was suggested to aid decision makers to determine when a greater hydrologic base may be needed for design and project viability decisions.
Degree NamePh. D.
Degree ProgramCivil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics