Irrigated agriculture has considerable impacts on the environment. To minimize negative effects and maximize positive effects, it is necessary to provide comprehensive analyses beyond the strictly technical domain. In this study, we apply a methodology for determining priorities in implementing irrigation plans using multi-criteria analysis methods on a specific case study area in the sub-catchment area of the Orljava River in Požega–Slavonia County, Croatia. Five potential irrigation areas (Orljava–Londža, Pleternica, Ovčare, Treštanovci, and Venje–Hrnjevac) were analyzed according to five selected criteria: environmental protection, water-related (four sub-criteria), social, economic, and time criteria with different criteria importance (weight). The aim of this study was to confirm the adequacy of using six multi-criteria analysis (MCA) methods (mostly used: PROMETHEE, AHP, ELECTRE TRI, and the less used: DEXi, PRIME, and PCA) in determining priorities for fulfilling irrigation plans, present models for preparation of the input data, apply certain methods, and compare the results on the selected case study area. The methods’ adequacy was confirmed during the research. Five of the six MCA methods identified the Ovčare area as the most appropriate for irrigation development (i.e., it has priority in implementing the irrigation plan). According to one (AHP) of the six methods, Orljava–Londža has more advantages over other areas. All MCA methods, except PCA, chose Venje–Hrnjevac as the least advisable (last to be implemented) alternative. Conclusions from this research confirm findings from recently published research regarding the application of MCA on water management problems.
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