OPTIMA - Sustainable Water Resources Management Software
Water is a key resource in the Mediterranean region, and efficient use and allocation are paramount to sustainable development, in particular in the coastal zone of the South and East, undergoing fast economic development, land use and demographic change. The overall aim of OPTIMA is to develop, implement, test, critically evaluate, and exploit an innovative, scientifically rigorous yet practical approach to water resources management intended to increase efficiencies and to reconcile conflicting demands. Based on the European Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) the approach equally considers economic efficiency, environmental compatibility, and social equity as the pillars of sustainable development. The project also aims at building a wide dissemination network of expertise and knowledge exchange sharing its findings, generic data, and best practice examples.
For a broad geographical coverage and a good basis for comparative analysis, OPTIMA brings together partners from Austria, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Malta, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Tunisia, and Morocco.
OPTIMA is extending classical optimisation and mathematical programming methodology in several respects, by:
- Using a full-featured dynamic and distributed simulation model as the core to generate feasible and non-dominated alternatives in a two-step approach, combining satisficing and genetic programming with a discrete multi-criteria DSS. Water technology alternatives including their cost structure, and economic valuation of water supply and use are the core components.
- Extending the set of objectives, criteria and constraints by economic evaluation estimating direct monetary and indirect costs derived with different valuation methods, including environmental and recreational benefits, penalties for shortfalls or flood damages, using expert systems technology to include difficult to quantify environmental and social dimensions;
- Putting specific emphasis on local acceptance and implementation through the active inclusion of stake-holders in an interactive, participatory decision making process carefully embedded in institutional structures, using a discrete multi-criteria reference point methodology;
- Comparative evaluation and benchmarking across the set of local and regional case studies in 7 locations, namely Cyprus, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine/Israel, Tunisia and Morocco around the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean.