Prof Maria da Cunha, from the Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal, visited WIT recently and presented a seminar entitled ‘Decision-Aid Models for Water Resources Management’.

The Water Framework Directive 2000/60//EC (WFD) creates a new context for Community action in the field of water policy. The development of methodological tools to help in the coherent and harmonious implementation of the WFD is very challenging. A Common Implementation Strategy through the elaboration of guidance documents is being created. The Work Package 2 regarding the Best Practices in River Basin Planning (WP2) is an example of a contribution that will facilitate the application of the WFD. This document, considers decision-aid models to be attractive tools that can help in river basin planning. They do not replace the decision procedure but they can be very helpful in structuring the analysis of all the issues involved in such problems, and identifying good decisions once the objectives and assumptions are defined. They can represent the various interdependencies and interactions among the aspects related to technical, economic and social issues, end users and different interest groups.

Two types of decision-aid models were presented: 1) models to help to decide the siting and sizing of the different components of a regional waste water system (the essential components of the system are sewer networks and treatment plants); 2) models to manage aquifer systems. The different techniques used to solve those models were detailed.