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Original Article

Developing a method based on matrixes and multi-criteria decision making approaches for environmental assessment of dams (A Case study)



Environmental impact assessment is an integrated, operational and implemental approach for sustainable development. An attitude is considered in which as an integrated system, everything is got into sustainability in the environment and with the environment, as well. Environmental assessment is a tool that has been developed to prevent environmental degradation caused by human activities. Environmental impact assessment is an approach to evaluate the environmental impacts of a project before and during the project implementation. Therefore, we need to develop a practical and quantitative method to provide a precise planning in order to estimate the effects of a dam and ultimately, to make a decision on the implementation or non- implementation of the project if knowing the impact of all activities on environmental factors. Therefore, we introduced a generalized mathematical model of ICOLD matrix and multi-criteria decision making method (method of analytic hierarchy process) as a quantitative model to analyze the project’s impacts on the environment. For this purpose, the environmental impact assessment information of the Zaraj-Abad dam, as the study area, was used to demonstrate the validity of the model. Results show that unlike the main implemented method in the dam Zaraj-Abad, who gives the “implement the Dam project” option, this method shows negative effects (45%) of the implementation of the dam on the environment and gives the option of non- implementation.

Graphical Abstract