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J Environ Health Sci Eng. 2015 Jul 14;13:53. doi: 10.1186/s40201-015-0206-y. eCollection 2015.

Hierarchical distance-based fuzzy approach to evaluate urban water supply systems in a semi-arid region.

Author information

1
Research Center for Environmental Pollutants, Qom University of Medical Sciences, Qom, Iran.
2
Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Poursina St, Keshavarz Blvd, PO BOX: 6446-14155, Tehran, Iran.
3
Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Poursina St, Keshavarz Blvd, PO BOX: 6446-14155, Tehran, Iran ; Center for Solid Waste Research, Institute for Environmental Research, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
4
Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Poursina St, Keshavarz Blvd, PO BOX: 6446-14155, Tehran, Iran ; Center for Water Quality Research, Institute for Environmental Research, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Abstract

Hierarchical distance-based fuzzy multi-criteria group decision making was served as a tool to evaluate the drinking water supply systems of Qom, a semi-arid city located in central part of Iran. A list of aspects consisting of 6 criteria and 35 sub-criteria were evaluated based on a linguistic term set by five decision-makers. Four water supply alternatives including "Public desalinated distribution system", "PET Bottled Drinking Water", "Private desalinated water suppliers" and "Household desalinated water units" were assessed based on criteria and sub-criteria. Data were aggregated and normalized to apply Performance Ratings of Alternatives. Also, the Performance Ratings of Alternatives were aggregated again to achieve the Aggregate Performance Ratings. The weighted distances from ideal solution and anti-ideal solution were calculated after secondary normalization. The proximity of each alternative to the ideal solution was determined as the final step. The alternatives were ranked based on the magnitude of ideal solutions. Results showed that "Public desalinated distribution system" was the most appropriate alternative to supply the drinking needs of Qom population. Also, "PET Bottled Drinking Water" was the second acceptable option. A novel classification of alternatives to satisfy the drinking water requirements was proposed which is applicable for the other cities located in semi-arid regions of Iran. The health issues were considered as independent criterion, distinct from the environmental issues. The constraints of high-tech alternatives were also considered regarding to the level of dependency on overseas.

KEYWORDS:

Distribution system; Drinking water; Fuzzy logic; MCDM

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