Evaluation of Alternative Options for the Irrigation Aqueduct of the Cavallino Peninsula Using the MULINO Approach
AbstractIn the present article we analyse the problem and the effects of changes in irrigation technology that affect a farmer community in the Cavallino Peninsula in the northeast of Italy. The obligation of closing and sealing the wells, which are currently used in the area for irrigation purposes, is due to a national law aimed at preserving the groundwater resources and preventing subsidence phenomena in the Venice area. The enforcement of this law implies that the regional administration is obliged to provide farmers with sufficient water supply for their agricultural activity. The methodology developed within the MULINO Project was used in this analysis, to test the potentials of a decision support system tool (mDSS) developed by the project. Firstly, the decision context was analysed and, as result, the problem was subdivided in two more specific sub problems: one related with water abstraction and the other related with water distribution. In order to build the decisional model, the opinions of experts and the preferences of the stakeholders were taken into account in different phases of the process. The results allowed the competent administration to identify the stakeholders’ main concerns about the development of a new irrigation system and to develop strategies to cope with them. The quality of the water supplied and the economic effects of the change in the irrigation system were the main issues dealt with in this process. The application of the MULINO approach and DSS tool added efficiency and transparency to the decision making process, by allowing the elicitation of opinions and preferences of all the actors involved in the process, and demonstrating that, notwithstanding the different viewpoints and interests, a general consensus could be reaches on a single management option.
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