Development of an algorithm for risk-based management of wastewater reuse alternatives
Due to water resources limitations, special attention has been paid to wastewater reuse in recent years. The risks associated with wastewater reuse alternatives should be considered in decision-making. Even when selecting the alternative with the least risk, risk management issues are of high importance. This study aims to develop an algorithm for risk-based management of wastewater reuse alternatives. This algorithm uses a three-step risk assessment and management approach. Risks are identified, then risks of alternatives are assessed, and, finally, risk management measures are proposed for risk reduction in the selected alternative. In risk identification, economic, social, health, and environmental aspects are taken into account. In risk assessment, its three components of likelihood, severity, and vulnerability are considered through a fuzzy inference system. Alternatives are prioritized based on calculated risks using a fuzzy VIKOR method. A case study is presented in which the proposed algorithm is used to select the best alternative for reuse of treated wastewater from Ekbatan Town, located in the western part Tehran in Iran. The results showed that the proposed approach provides the users with an easier understanding of risks and increases the relative confidence of decision-makers about the selection of the best alternatives for wastewater reuse and their risk control methods.