There are pressures on existing centralized water infrastructures in urban centers which justify the search for alternatives. An increasingly important alternative is to shift from centralized to hybrid systems, often in response to climate variability and demographic changes. In a hybrid system, water is supplied and discharged through a mix of centralized and decentralized systems. There is usually no single objective that justifies the choice of hybrid water systems, but they typically are justified based on the consideration of a number of different criteria in order to evaluate the overall quality of service provision. The most important criteria include meeting water demand, as well as reducing demand for fresh water and instead using local alternative water supplies. Integration of multiple objectives to evaluate the hybrid water supply systems can be accomplished by multi-criteria decision aid techniques. This paper evaluates a number of hybrid water supply scenarios using a case study based on the Northern Growth Area of Melbourne, Australia. It uses the Preference Ranking Organization METHod for Enrichment Evaluations (PROMETHEE) and Geometrical Analysis for Interactive Decision Aid (GAIA), one of the multi-criteria decision-making methods through D-Sight software, to rank the hybrid water supply scenarios, and this ranking is validated by means of sensitivity analysis. The centralized system combined with stormwater harvesting and the centralized system combined with treated wastewater and rainwater tanks yielded the first and second most preferred scenarios, while the centralized water supply system combined with treated wastewater yielded the worst hybrid water supply option.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited