AHP-TOPSIS hybrid decision support system for dam site selection

Hydraulic engineering

Inadequate selection of an area for the location of dams brings about social and economic disadvantages due to the non-fulfillment of its objective, as well as causes significant damage to the ecosystem of the river basin. This type of selection depends on a set of different criteria and variables, so it is necessary to develop a tool to support decision-making that allows reducing the collateral damage that a project of this type entails and increasing the project effectiveness. This paper proposes the development of a hybrid method of multicriterial analysis using the hierarchical analysis technique (AHP) and the technique for the order of preferences by similarity to the ideal solution (TOPSIS) with a specific focus on the selection of sites for dams. Modifications to traditional methods were established by eliminating the decision-maker as an evaluator of alternatives. The proposed method is based on the hierarchical ordering of alternatives taking into account the subjective judgments of decision-makers when considering the uncertainties of the selection process. The ordering of the alternatives is preceded by the analysis of a series of hydrological, geological, topographic and land use parameters extracted from a digital elevation model. According to the results obtained, it was possible to order hierarchically (better-worse) each of the river basins evaluated according to the established parameters.