Multi-objective, decision-based assessment of a water quality monitoring network in a river system

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Journal: J Environ Monit 2002/03/02
Published: 2002
Authors: Ning, S. K.;Chang, N. B.
Address: Department of Environmental Engineering, National Cheng-Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan, China.

Water quality monitoring network design has historically tended to use experience, intuition and subjective judgement in locating monitoring stations. Better design procedures to optimize monitoring systems need to simultaneously identify significant planning objectives and consider a number of social, economic and environmental constraints. The consideration of multiple objectives may require further decision analysis to determine the preference weights associated with the objectives to aid in the decision-making process. This may require the application of an optimization study to extract such information from decision makers or experts and to evaluate the overall effectiveness of locating strategies. This paper assesses the optimal expansion and relocation strategies of a water quality monitoring network using a two-stage analysis. The first stage focuses on the information retrieval of preference weights with respect to the designated planning objectives. With the aid of a pre-emptive goal programming model, data analysis is applied to obtain the essential information from the questionnaire outputs. The second stage then utilizes a weighted multi-objective optimization approach to search for the optimal locating strategies of the monitoring stations in the river basin. Practical implementation is illustrated by a case study in the Kao-Ping River Basin, south Taiwan.

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