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Kefayati, M., Saghafian, B., Ahmadi, A. Babazadeh, H. (2018) Empirical evaluation of river basin sustainability affected by inter basin water transfer using composite indicators, Water and environment Journal 32 (1), 104-111.

Empirical evaluation of river basin sustainability affected by inter‐basin water transfer using composite indicators

First published: 10 October 2017


In this study, a practical approach to evaluate the sustainability of river basins subjected to an inter‐basin water transfer project is developed. Selection of appropriate evaluation indicators is pivotal to such approach. To make use of huge amount of data, composite indicators of sustainability (CIS) should be utilised. The proposed approach relies on 15 sustainability indicators (SI) that cover three major criteria namely (economic, social and environmental), and aggregates them into eight different types of sustainability indices for a more robust outcome. Two scenarios were considered within the source and recipient basins. Furthermore, multivariate principal component analysis (PCA) was applied to determine principal and non‐principal indicators for the two river basins. The ability of CIS and PCA methods were verified via correlation and simple regression methods respectively. The results demonstrated that inter‐basin water transfer may improve sustainability, provided that a proper water resource management is enforced.

Keywords: composite indicator, inter‐basin water transfer, principal component analysis, sustainability

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