III. INTEGRATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS INTO DECISION- MAKING FOR FLOOD LOSS REDUCTION
F. Methodologies for integration of environmental considerations into economic decision-making
1. Multi-criteria assessment of large-scale projectsGuidelines for assessment of flood control, drainage and irrigation projects have been prepared by FPCO (1992) which bring environmental issues under a decision framework. Their objective is to assist members of teams undertaking regional water resource planning studies and feasibility studies for investment in large scale projects. According to the guidelines, the economic analysis should be complemented by an assessment of other impacts, in particular social and environmental effects that may be difficult to evaluate in financial and economic terms. For that reason the assessment will comprise a multi-criteria analysis that organizes and brings together in a single framework costs and benefits, impacts and effects of a project whether these are evaluated, quantified or are only amenable to qualitative assessment. The overall framework is shown in Figure 20. The guidelines have formulated methodologies for
Wherever benefits and losses can be valued they will be included in the economic analysis, with losses either being taken into account in the benefit stream or by including the costs of any compensating investments (e.g. costs of relocating and rehabilitating people whose land is appropriated for project works). Where benefits and losses cannot be valued, these will be described and quantified (e.g. work-days of extra agricultural employment created by a project; number of households whose access to drinking water has been affected). If impacts can be neither valued nor quantified (e.g. possible impacts on water transport), these will be described and a qualitative assessment made. A multi-criteria matrix will be prepared in which all benefits and losses (valued, quantified and qualitatively described) will be listed, in order to facilitate comparison of projects as shown in Table 16. The table summarizes and brings together, as an aid to decision-making, the potential positive and negative impacts of a range of alternative projects and strategies.
Source: Flood Plan Coordination Organization, 1992.
Examples of multi-criteria analysis: According to the guidelines for project assessment, the assessment of large-scale investment projects implemented at national/regional level is designed to follow a multi-criteria analysis, which in fact will facilitate the integration of economic, social and ecological considerations into a common format of decision-making. Brief descriptions of selected examples are given below.
In the planning of Jamalpur Priority Project in the NC region, four options (A,B,C and D) were studied. The objective of the project is to reduce damage from floods caused by adjacent major rivers and to enhance agricultural and fisheries production. The project covers an area of 1,020 km2 and its location is shown in Figure 21. The four options of the project are schematically shown in Figure 22. Options A and B, being the more promising options in economical, sociological, environmental and technical terms, were evaluated by multi-criteria analysis along with 'without (WO) project situation'. Option B has been selected as reported in SOGREAH and others (1997) as it has the provision for controlled flooding in order to take advantage of the beneficial effects of flooding.
With the expectation that social and environmental criteria will play a major role in economic decision-making in the coming years, the NW regional study (Mott MacDonald, 1993b) recommended an alternative which has lower economic criteria but less social and environmental impact. The study finds that full flood control and drainage appears to give the highest economic returns out of the eight scenarios, but is the cause of severe social conflicts, is very susceptible to hazard, and is regarded as unfeasible, taking into account all ranking criteria.
Application of the multi-criteria analysis was also made for the Secondary
Towns Integrated Flood Protection Project (FPCO, 1995b.) Six towns have
been included in the project. The plan for each town has four components:
flood protection works, drainage, environmental improvements, and implementation