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Peer-Review Record

Evaluation of Future-Integrated Urban Water Management Using a Risk and Decision Analysis Framework: A Case Study in Denver–Colorado Metro Area (DCMA)

Water 2023, 15(22), 4020;
by Bowen He 1,*, Han Zheng 2 and Qun Guan 3
Reviewer 1: Anonymous
Reviewer 2: Anonymous
Reviewer 3: Anonymous
Water 2023, 15(22), 4020;
Submission received: 31 October 2023 / Revised: 13 November 2023 / Accepted: 17 November 2023 / Published: 20 November 2023
(This article belongs to the Section Urban Water Management)

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

Comments and Suggestions for Authors

The paper covers the very interesting topic of the choice of the best alternative to alleviate water stress. The scenarios and the decision criteria adopted seem pertinent for the case study.

However the information on the members of the three groups (Academic, Industry, NGO), particularly number and skill, is too limited. A greater reliability could be obtained in the case of scores derived form public inquires to stakeholders.

Also it is necessary to improve fig.8 c as it is not clear.

In the paragraph 4.2 it is opportune to explain the criteria adopted for the choice of 4 decision criteria among the 10 criteria before proposed .

In the Introduction is suggested to introduce a sentence on the risk of urban water stress due also to the water-energy-food nexus, after the discussion on the role of the climate change ( lines 58-66). (see Rossi G.& Peres D. (2023) Climatic and other global changes as current challenges in improving water systems management: lessons from the case of Italy, Water Resources Management (2023) 37:2387-2402)

Minor comments:

Line 56 :Check date of Richter paper 2022 or 2023

Line 77: check if “previous study” or studies

Line 78: why “these”?

Line 90: revise “monotonous rather than refined” which seems contemptuous also if addressed to two of the authors of the paper.

Author Response

Please see the attachment.

Author Response File: Author Response.pdf

Reviewer 2 Report

Comments and Suggestions for Authors

Dear Editor

The manuscript addresses an important and timely topic and highlights the intricacies of urban water management. Although the study's design is commendable, it is not without its flaws.

One notable area that could benefit from improvement is the clarity of the modelling phases. A visual aid, such as a flowchart, would undoubtedly improve the reader's understanding and provide a more transparent overview of the course of study. The lack of such a visual guide may leave some readers grappling with the intricacies of the modelling process.

Although the summary is informative, it is not sufficient in dealing with the results and only provides a brief overview. An expansion of this section would be of great benefit to readers seeking a concise yet comprehensive understanding of the study results. A more detailed presentation of the results in the abstract would undoubtedly enhance the overall impact of the manuscript.

In the area of ​​future options, the manuscript contains probabilities, a laudable addition. However, the decision to assign equal weight to all probabilities may be an oversimplification. A nuanced approach that considers different weights based on contextual factors could add depth and realism to the study's predictions.

While the discussion section is comprehensive, it could benefit from a more explicit focus on methods to improve water security in the DCMA. By considering practical strategies and actionable recommendations, the manuscript could be a valuable resource for policymakers and practitioners grappling with water management challenges in the region.

In Conclusion: Assessing Future Integrated Urban Water Management Using a Risk and Decision Analysis Framework: A Denver-Colorado Metro Area (DCMA) Case Study presents a promising examination of a critical issue. Addressing the identified areas for improvement would undoubtedly enhance the manuscript and make it an even more impactful contribution to the field of urban water management.

Comments on the Quality of English Language

No Comment

Author Response

Please see the attachment.

Author Response File: Author Response.pdf

Reviewer 3 Report

Comments and Suggestions for Authors

Review report of article water-2719645


In brief, the manuscript titled “Evaluation of Future Integrated Urban Water Management Using a Risk and Decision Analysis Framework: A Case Study in Denver-Colorado Metro Area (DCMA)


(a) is a promising and exciting work;

(b) provides a complex solution for alleviating future water stresses in DCMA;

(c) applies the research materials quite solidly (although there are some relevant reproducibility issues) ;

(d) fits the journal’s scope and standards.


General findings related to the manuscript:

The manuscript is a promising scientific case study, directly focusing on the water stress issues in the Denver-Colorado Metro Area. The research problem is valid and described well. The case study can provide a good example for the readers in a complex assessment problem after solving some major and minor issues. In general, the manuscript has great potential, but in its present form, it has some weak points.

The detailed comments following the structure of the paper are presented in the following:


1. Introduction


The MCDM method selection is too straightforward. Why did the authors select MAVT and AHP? Please introduce some application experiences existing in the literature related to these methods. AHP is a pretty popular technique despite its severe limitations. Compared to AHP, the application of MAVT is marginal in the literature, so the is a big question, why these two methods are selected?


On the other hand, the FTA analysis is not mentioned in the introduction section, although it will be an important method in the assessment process.


Lines 94-96.

The two methods are not compared to each other in the manuscript. Probably, the results of these methods are compared to each other. Please reconsider this part.


2. Methods


Lines 105 and 107.

The names of the referred figures are probably wrong here. Please reconsider these.


Please briefly introduce the background of the method selection related to FTA analysis. Why is this method selected instead of other possible risk assessment techniques?


Figure 2

The “Sensitivity analysis” label is not applicable in that part of the process flow. That part contains more than a sensitivity analysis since the preference order determination is also included here, as the authors have written.


2.3.1 and 2.3.2 sections

The presented introduction of these two core methods is insufficient for the readers if they want to reproduce the research. A detailed analytical introduction is essential related to this method. On the other hand, referring to 1a., the introduction of the application experiences related to AHP and MAVT is essential. Please introduce some present cases in other fields of applying these methods. Let the reader unfamiliar with the MCDM universe understand that the selected methods are widely applicable! Many, many applicable, good examples exist even in the world of MDPI, for example:


There are missing materials. Without some essential input data (for example, the judgment matrices for the AHP), the reader can not reproduce the calculations. Without these data, the entire research is questionable, so please provide all the necessary input data. (These can be placed in the supplementary materials easily.)


4. Results and discussion


The results are not presented analytically. These are just some questions that remain unanswered.

How much was the consistency ratio value of the experts? How many experts were consistent enough? Etc. Please answer this kind of question correctly in the text.


The details of Figure 8 are not presented in the text correctly. What can be seen by an unfamiliar reader in picture part (c)? Are there any consequences related to this section? Why is it interesting that the Academic, Industry, and NGO experts judge the situation differently? How does this result connect to the aim of the research? Answer these questions in the text, please.


Figure 8.

In the name of the picture: MACT can be MAVT?


The results are not put into the context of the literature. Literally, there is no reference related to the results in this section. Please put the results into the context of the literature. What new can be identified based on the existing literature? What suggestions can be made for the expert community based on the results of the case study?


5. Conclusion and future direction


Please refer briefly to the most critical limitations of the case study in the text.



Overall proposal:


The manuscript has significant potential, although the manuscript requires revision. The reviewer suggests major revision before publication.

Author Response

Please see the attachment.

Author Response File: Author Response.pdf

Round 2

Reviewer 2 Report

Comments and Suggestions for Authors

Dear Respected Editor

The authors have made a significant revision and replied to all my comments. I have no other comments at this stage.


Reviewer 3 Report

Comments and Suggestions for Authors

Second review report of article water-2719645


The reviewer is pleased to note that the paper improved significantly, and most of the comments were addressed by the author well. Based on significant changes in the text, the overall scientific merit of the paper developed. In general, I appreciate the efforts of the author in reworking the paper. Overall proposal:


The reviewer suggests publishing the paper in its present form.

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