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Noor ul Hassan Zardari, Ian Cordery, and Ashish Sharma2

ABSTRACT: In this study, end user (farmer) and decision maker (water allocator) opinions were surveyed and a
conjoint analysis (CA) based method was applied to the quantitative and qualitative data to assess the utility
associated with each attribute that plays a role in forming the final thinking of the water users. The application
of CA for estimating the utility for each attribute level is a novel approach, which helps provide a formal, objec-
tive basis for assigning relative scales for each attribute interval within a multiattribute decision-making model.
The utilities (part-worths) obtained from the CA have a cardinal scale and were found to be comparable within
and across the attributes. A farmers survey on five water allocation attributes was completed from 62 farmers
and their opinions on the relative importance of attributes were elicited for a subarea of the Indus River Basin.
The CA method was then applied to the survey data and the utilities for each attribute level were determined.
This allowed, for instance, decisions to be made, which take account of the perceived value of the water and of
the availability of local labor to work on the farm. Finally, these interval scales were used within the specifica-
tion of the ELECTRE multiattribute decision-making method to provide a complete and objective ranking of
nine irrigation districts so that the best decisions on water allocation could be made.

(KEY TERMS: ELECTRE; conjoint analysis; water allocation; Indus River Basin; multiattribute decision

Zardari, Noor ul Hassan, Ian Cordery, and Ashish Sharma, 2010. An Objective Multiattribute Analysis
Approach for Allocation of Scarce Irrigation Water Resources. Journal of the American Water Resources
Association (JAWRA) 46(2):412-428. DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2009.00410.x

INTRODUCTION as poor farmer practices, poor soils, inappropriate

quantities of water use, outdated technologies, etc. In
many countries in Asia and Africa where irrigation
Productivity, in terms of production per unit of systems were set up under colonial regimes water is
applied water, is quite low in many irrigation regions allocated to farmers and there is virtually no water
around the world. With availability of water per unit market. This is certainly the case throughout the
of population growing smaller this low productivity is Indian subcontinent where the warabandi system
to be regretted. The causes of low productivity are is in place. This system supposedly allocates water
many. They can be summarized under headings such to farmers on the basis of the land area they have
Paper No. JAWRA-08-0169-P of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA). Received September 3, 2008;
accepted October 28, 2009. 2010 American Water Resources Association. Discussions are open until six months from print publica-
Respectively, Research Scholar, Visiting Research Scholar, and Associate Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The
University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales 2052, Australia (E-Mail Sharma: a.sharma@unsw.edu.au).



available for irrigation. This system is in operation in being deserving of priority in water allocations. In
Pakistan where the productivity of irrigated wheat is the presence of qualitative attributes, MCDM meth-
only about 2 tons ha less than for most dryland farm- ods such as ELECTRE, Q-analysis, lexicographic
ing in developed countries (WAPDA, 1990; Kijne ordering, and other related approaches could be
et al., 2003). The problems in the warabandi system applied to rank the various alternatives (Zeleny,
are many, and improvements are needed. These 1982). However, the combined presence of qualitative
improvements can be achieved through several and quantitative attributes complicates the applica-
actions such as on-farm water management, infra- tion of such methods. Additionally, the need for sub-
structure upgrading, and political commitment, but jective inputs to most MCDMs means that their
particularly by changing the allocation system to per- acceptability for deriving objective indications of
mit farmers to show initiative and take risks to potential benefits is limited. To overcome these limi-
improve their productivity. The International Water tations a conjoint analysis (CA) based approach is
Management Institute (IWMI, 2005) in a report on presented for transforming combined qualitative and
the warabandi irrigation system states: By consider- quantitative attribute information into a common
ing groundwater availability and quality when allo- scale without the need for model user inputs concern-
cating canal water for irrigation, water managers ing relative values, making the application of quanti-
could improve the equity, sustainability and produc- tative multiobjective approaches possible and
tivity of irrigated systems. Hussain and Young meaningful. The outcomes of the CA application are
(1985) suggest options that include the use of then input to the ELECTRE I and II MCDM models
advanced technology, introduction of new crop varie- to indicate possible priorities for water allocation
ties, and farmer training and awareness, by which across the nine IDs. This approach could have value
the productivity of irrigation water could be not only where the warabandi system is in operation,
improved. However, because the farmers have almost but anywhere that there is a centralized water alloca-
no control over the amount or timing of their water tion system in operation.
deliveries they have little or no incentive to make The rest of the paper is organized as follows. The
efforts to improve productivity. Any efforts they make next section provides a brief introduction to the wara-
can be negated by the unreliability of supplies (Zar- bandi system and the selected water allocation attri-
dari and Cordery, 2009). As stated above, obstacles to butes used in ranking the nine IDs. The chosen
initiative on the part of farmers are common in many MCDM methodology (ELECTRE) is also discussed in
irrigation regions throughout the world. Anywhere this section. The survey dataset used in the paper,
where allocations are made by some central authority the CA method and the subsequent data necessary to
there is a tendency toward inefficiency in those allo- compute relative importance of attributes (attribute
cations unless the sharing algorithm is reviewed peri- weights) are discussed in the next section. The proce-
odically. In Pakistan, and many other parts of the dure to develop a complete ranking of nine IDs from
world, significant increases in water productivity the use of ELECTRE I and II is discussed in detail
could be achieved by modifying the current century- next. This is followed by the results obtained from
old rules for irrigation water allocation that were CA and ELECTRE methodologies. The last section
supposedly built on ensuring an equitable and effi- provides the study conclusions.
cient distribution of water to various user groups.
Other important factors (e.g., socioeconomic), on
which the value of a single unit of water may also
depend, have been neglected. Any reform of a single BACKGROUND
issue within the current warabandi, or any other irri-
gation allocation system may not fully achieve the
multiple objectives that need to be considered. A The Warabandi Water Allocation System
major reform in which the basic rules of the wara-
bandi system are changed could undoubtedly improve Warabandi was set up as a rotational method for
the productivity of scarce irrigation water (Zardari equitable allocation of the available water in an irri-
and Cordery, 2006). Thus, in this study, we have con- gation system. It has been in place in Pakistan for
sidered water allocation as a multicriterion decision- more than 125 years and is described in some detail
making (MCDM) problem and have investigated a by Zardari and Cordery (2009). In the system, the
scheme for ranking allocations between nine irriga- rotational turns are fixed according to a time roster,
tion districts (IDs) based on socioeconomic objectives. specifying the day, time, and duration of supply to
Five water allocation attributes (quantitative and each irrigator. This provides a continuous rotation of
qualitative) were used to rank nine IDs in a subarea water in which one complete cycle of rotation gener-
of the Indus River Basin in Pakistan in terms of their ally lasts seven days. The duration of supply for each



farmer is proportional to the size of the farmers

landholding to be irrigated within the particular
watercourse command area (Bandaragoda, 1998).
Warabandi, as a water allocation method, was des-
igned to achieve two objectives: high water use effi-
ciency and to maintain equity in water distribution.
However, the warabandi in practice deviates from its
design objectives. Some of the users and some of the
areas are often allocated more water than others
(Bandaragoda, 1998). The reasons for this inequity
are related to both physical and social factors that
are not considered in the allocation procedure. The
system is particularly inequitable in that any break
in supply, from any cause, results in no deliveries to
farmers whose supply turns occur during the
break in supply. It is possible for a farmer to miss
his supply turn for several consecutive weeks due
to the timing of damage, accidental or otherwise,
to the canal or its headwater control works and the
necessary repair activities. Loss of water supply
such as this can (and usually does) cause the crop to
fail. FIGURE 1. Procedure for Ranking IDs
A primary survey on the warabandi water alloca- in Water Allocation Problem.
tion method practiced in Pakistan revealed some
empirical evidence of water rights violation and
confirmed that the current practice of warabandi On the basis of the decision-makers preferences,
deviates substantially from the actual design expecta- three water allocation objectives comprising five
tions. Multiple uses of irrigation water have widened important water allocation attributes were identified.
the gap between design and practice of warabandi. These objectives include: maximizing economic bene-
Incorporating more of the factors which contribute to fit, maximizing social benefit, and maintaining fair-
the value of a single unit of water could eventually ness in allocation.
improve the water productivity and the water use The water allocation objectives were characterized
efficiency (Zardari and Cordery, 2006). To demon- by five attributes which are:
strate the value of using MCDM with CA to develop
input data to avoid subjectivity a study was con- Maximizing economic benefits
ducted in which five important factors (i.e., water Annual net farm income (INCOME)
allocation attributes) on which the value to the Amount paid to the Provincial Irrigation Depart-
farmer of a single unit of irrigation water depends ment for water share (PID)
(i.e., the attributes the farmer considers valuable or Water use efficiency (EFFICIENCY)
of little value) have been taken into account. Then a
complete ranking of nine IDs is produced by applying Maximizing social benefits
ELECTRE I and II to these quantitative and qualita- Percent of family working on the farm (FAMILY)
tive attributes. An outline of the procedure used in
this study is presented in Figure 1. Maintaining fairness in water resources allocation
Quality of groundwater beneath the farm
Water Allocation Objectives and Attributes
These attributes form the basis of a survey conducted
The key issues upon which water allocation should across 300 farms in our study region, the data from
depend were identified based on discussions with 20 which is used as the basis of prioritizing the water allo-
decision makers in a subarea of the Indus River cation across the nine IDs considered in this study.
Basin where this study is focused. A list of 10 water Prior to conducting this detailed survey, an extensive
allocation attributes was presented and each decision preliminary survey was undertaken in which about 300
maker was asked to show his preferences by farmers were asked to respond to over 100 questions in
assigning ranks to the attributes according to their an attempt to elicit general opinions and areas of
importance in water allocation decisions. approval and discontent concerning water allocations.



The survey also attempted to discover social and need for the modeler to introduce his own subjective
economic factors such as family sizes, numbers opinions.
employed in the irrigation enterprises, income gener- Each of the five attributes listed above is described
ated, and general levels of efficiency and satisfaction as follows:
with the current farm and irrigation organization.
From this survey a set of 10 water allocation attri- Annual Net Farm Income. To gauge the overall
butes shown in Table 1 was identified as being the benefit from the use of a single unit of canal water, a
most important by this large group of farmers. A net farm income attribute was introduced. It was
complete discussion on 10 water allocation attributes hypothesized that the respondents would attach
is given in Zardari (2008) and Zardari and Cordery higher preferences to those IDs where the farmers
(2009). have relatively higher net incomes per unit of land.
From the above 10 water allocation attributes the The evidence from the 300 farms has supported this
group of 20 decision makers mentioned above identi- hypothesis as the majority of survey participants
fied the five attributes that they considered most gave higher preferences to the IDs with higher farm
important. Surveys of irrigation farmers were used to incomes.
determine which attributes were important, and to
provide a basis for several other decision consider- Amount Paid to PID. There is reluctance by
ations important to the study so as to avoid the funding organizations such as the World Bank to sup-

TABLE 1. Definition of Water Allocation Objectives and Attributes.

Water Allocation
Objectives Attributes Attribute Definition

Maximum economic Higher value of a unit The regions adopting policy of more crops with less drops
benefits volume of water should be preferred in canal water allocation.
Higher livestock income The regions where the majority of farmers who have higher
income from livestock should be preferred in water
More revenue recovery To keep irrigation system working, the areas with high reve-
by the PID nue collection by the Provincial Irrigation Department
(PID) should get priority in water allocation. Or, where the
recovery from 1 m3 of supplied irrigation water is higher
than other areas, this should be preferred.
Maximum social Minimizing impacts of The populous regions should get priority in canal water
benefits nonallocation of canal allocations to reduce chances of migration.
Higher dependency on The areas, where the majority solely depends on agriculture
agriculture income for existence, or the majority have no other source of
income, should get high priority in canal water allocation.
Respecting senior water The regions, where canal water was first allocated to the
rights farmers from controlled irrigation system should be
preferred in water allocations. This means that priority to
supply irrigation water should be given to the farmers
situated in the existing irrigation delivery system rather
than expanding irrigation delivery system to other
non-irrigation regions.
Maintaining equity in water Optimal utilization of The farmers situated in the fresh groundwater areas have
allocations by considering tube wells installed tube wells to supplement canal water supplies.
capital investment and The areas with more capital investments should be pre-
groundwater quality ferred in water allocation so that the benefits from the use
of available infrastructure can be maximized.
Optimal use of farming The regions, where most of farmers have invested heavily in
equipment farm machinery may get priority in canal water allocation.
As, I assume that stopping canal water supplies to such
regions may result in under-utilization of invested capital.
Avoiding unemployment To avoid unemployment to large population, the regions
of a large labor with more labor availability should get priority in canal
population water allocation.
Compensation for poor The regions with marginal saline groundwater should get
quality groundwater priority in canal water allocation; as such regions have no
alternative source of irrigation.



port irrigation projects where the taxpayers subsidize allocations that might compensate for their location
the actual project beneficiaries (Gill et al., 2004). To misfortune. This hypothesis was later supported by
keep water projects viable, it is important that at the survey findings.
least the operation and maintenance (O&M) costs
should be recovered from the actual beneficiaries.
Thus, we assume that the IDs where O&M costs are Study Area and Survey Methodology
recovered (or where a greater proportion is recovered
than from the other IDs) from the water charges paid Data on social, economic, and administrative condi-
to the PID should get priority in water allocations. tions was collected in a primary survey completed
Indirectly, this attribute encourages water use effi- from 300 farms situated in nine IDs in Rohri Canal
ciency. catchment of the Lower Indus River Basin of Paki-
stan. A subsequent farmers survey was then com-
Water Use Efficiency. When water is a scarce pleted in two phases to determine the relative
resource it should be allocated to the most efficient importance of the water allocation attributes. In the
users. In the agriculture sector, total farm benefits first phase of this subsequent survey, 20 decision
divided by the amount of water delivered can be makers were asked to assign rankings to 10 attri-
termed water use efficiency (or value of water). It butes according to their importance in water alloca-
was assumed that the respondents would assign tions. From the results obtained the five most
higher ratings to the IDs with higher water use effi- important (from the 10 offered) attributes were
ciency. extracted. In the second phase, 62 survey partici-
pants were asked to show their preferences among
Percent of Family Working on the Farm. Apart the chosen five most important water allocation attri-
from economic attributes discussed earlier, one social butes to allow an assessment of the inter-comparison
attribute, the percent of family members working on of attribute utilities in evaluating the overall impor-
the farm, was introduced. The aim of introducing this tance of the alternatives being considered. The aver-
attribute was to give more benefits to those families age socioeconomic data responses (from 300 survey
who depend completely on farm income and do not have participants) collected from the nine IDs are pre-
other sources of income. The use of this attribute would sented in Table 2.
give an indication of the importance the respondents It should be noted that the above survey was con-
give to social and employment issues in their water ducted using carefully identified respondents, so as to
allocation priorities. ensure that the responses being collected would be
genuine and the questions well understood. The
Groundwater Quality Beneath the Farm. The selection criteria used in identifying respondents
IDs with poor quality groundwater completely depend were education (well educated respondents were
on canal water supplies. On the other hand, regions selected), employment (preference was given to
with fresh groundwater may have an opportunity to respondents who were managers of their respective
exploit groundwater when canal water supplies are farms), and experience (especially with agro-based
inadequate to meet crop water requirements. There- industries), with preference being given to those who
fore, it was assumed that the respondents would pri- also interacted with officials from the Provisional Irri-
oritize the poor quality groundwater areas in water gation Department.
TABLE 2. Averaged Farm and Water Management Data (n = 300).

Water Allocation Attributes

Percent of Family
Working on Amount Paid to PID Water Use Annual Net Farm Groundwater
Irrigation the Farm for Water Share Efficiency Income Quality Beneath
District No. (%) (US$ ha) (%) (US$ ha) the Farm

ID-I 93 17 32 1,860 Fresh

ID-II 90 30 85 465 Saline
ID-III 42 26 36 350 Marginal
ID-IV 38 11 72 905 Fresh
ID-V 40 18 30 470 Saline
ID-VI 74 7 64 395 Marginal
ID-VII 45 25 72 1,050 Fresh
ID-VIII 84 8 55 485 Fresh
ID-IX 55 21 33 1,380 Fresh



There is considerable difficulty in attempting to Tecle (1992) analyzed 15 MCDM methods based
assess which of a group of both quantitative and on four criteria (i.e., technique-related, problem-
qualitative attributes would contribute most to related, solution-related, and decision maker analyst
achieving the best water allocations in the region of related criteria). He then ranked those 15 MCDM
interest. It is claimed for most MCDM approaches methods according to the effectiveness of each
that the mix of quantitative and qualitative attri- method for solving a watershed resources manage-
butes can be properly considered. However, on ment problem. He concluded that ELECTRE meth-
attempting to apply one of the methods it became ods (ELECTRE I and II), when compared with other
apparent that this was not really the case. There was 14 MCDM methods, produced a better result. Jacek
a need for the modeler to insert some scaling or rela- (2007) collected opinions from the decision makers
tivity weightings between the attributes within the on the ease of use of the five selected MCDM meth-
modeling process, which removed any possibility of ods (e.g., ELECTRE, AHP, UTA, MAPPAC, and OR-
claiming the modeling process to be objective. Hence ESTE). ELECTRE methods got more positive
in this study, as few modeler decisions as possible opinion (i.e., 78%) than the other four MCDM
were introduced to the study, most decisions being methods. Decision makers declared that ELECTRE
reached as a result of surveys of farmers. It could be and AHP models are easy to understand, although
assumed that some subjectivity was introduced in the there were some opinions suggesting that the mean-
selection of survey participants or in the questions ing of veto threshold in ELECTRE III method is not
asked, but to avoid these potential criticisms large very clear to the decision makers and that relative
numbers of questions were asked of a large number comparison between objects in AHP induces certain
of farmers, and further surveys were then conducted difficulties (Jacek, 2007).
based on outcomes of the earlier survey(s). In the context of prioritizing water allocation to
IDs, compensation for a loss due to a given water
allocation attribute by a gain in another one cannot
Selection of a Suitable MCDM Method be accommodated within the current system. For
example, sympathy for the poor quality of ground-
In a decision process, formulation of the problem is water in one of the IDs could not be weighted
more important than the selection of MCDM method. against the higher net farm income of another ID.
Thus, more focus was placed on the problem formula- In such a situation, the use of a noncompensatory
tion than on selecting the MCDM method. Neverthe- MCDM method should be better for producing the
less, four criteria were applied in selection of a ranking of different alternatives (i.e., IDs). ELEC-
suitable MCDM method to be used in this study. The TRE methods are one of the noncompensatory
selection criteria include: methods (Bouyssou, 1986; Buchanan and Vander-
pooten, 2007).
1. The chosen MCDM method can utilize both types Compared with other decision aiding techniques
of data (quantitative and qualitative) together. such as Maximax and Lexicographic, which utilize a
2. The selected MCDM method can perform well in part of the decision matrix, the ELECTRE makes full
a situation where a large number of alternatives use of decision matrices and is thus able to provide
and attributes are to be considered. more reliable results (Shanian and Savadogo, 2006).
3. The MCDM method should be flexible so that the The selection of an appropriate version of the
decision makers or stakeholders can show their ELECTRE method was also an important issue in
preferences over different evaluation attributes. this study. ELECTRE IV does not satisfy the third
4. The selected MCDM method should be easy for criterion as the decision-makers preferences on the
use and easy for understanding to the people attributes are not considered by this version of
involved in the decision process (e.g., decision ELECTRE method.
makers and stakeholders). ELECTRE III does not meet the fourth criterion as
this version use pseudo-criteria to develop priority
Many MCDM methods (e.g., AHP, SMART, and ranking of alternatives. The use of pseudo-criteria
ELECTRE) can work with quantitative and qualita- and upper and lower limit thresholds for each attri-
tive data to rank different alternatives in any deci- bute makes this version difficult to understand by the
sion-making problem. However, some of the MCDM decision makers and stakeholders. ELECTRE TRI
methods (e.g., AHP and SMART) have limitations as (electre tree) is only used for sorting alternatives and
to the number of alternatives that can be evaluated. could not be used for ranking alternatives.
AHP and SMART methods cannot handle more than Only ELECTRE I and II satisfied all four criteria
80 alternatives. However, ELECTRE methods have mentioned above and thus were selected to develop a
the capacity to deal with more than 80 alternatives. priority ranking of IDs for this study.



sion maker has for one attribute vs. another; S* is

the largest scale S(m), m[1,M]; N is the number of
ELECTRE, a multiattribute decision-making
It should be noted that the specification of the
method, was originally suggested by Benayoun et al.
scale for each attribute S(m) is somewhat arbitrary
(1966), and improved by Roy (1971). The fundamental
and can change depending on the preferences individ-
concept of ELECTRE I and II is to select those alter-
ual decision makers have on the attributes being con-
natives that are preferred for most of the attributes
sidered. Furthermore, the standardization of the
without violating an acceptable level of discontent for
scaled payoff values using S* is also debatable in the
any one attribute (Milani et al., 2006). The method
form presented above, with several authors using
involves comparing pairwise alternatives among
variations of the logic above in forming their discord
members of a set of alternatives, and eliminating a
index values. We present a different rationale for
subset of less desirable alternatives. This is per-
estimation of the attribute scale and their standardi-
formed through the formulation of a concord index
zation that addresses the concerns raised above. The
c(i, j) and a discord index d(i, j) to measure the pref-
proposed rationale uses CA as the basis for specifying
erence of alternative i to alternative j. The concord
attribute scales, details on which are presented next.
index measures a weighted number of attributes for
which alternative i is preferred to or equal to alterna-
A Modified Version of the Discordance
tive j. It is defined as:
Index. With the aim of bringing resemblance in con-
cordance and discordance indices, we multiplied the
W 0:5W differences of scores of any two specific alternatives
ci; j ; 1 with a relative importance weight (Wi, where i
denotes the i-th attribute considered). The modified
discordance index (called the weighted discordance
where W+ is the sum of weights for the attributes index) can now be written as:
where alternative i > alternative j; W= is the sum of
weights for the attributes where alternative i is equal  
to the alternative j; and W) is the sum of weights for di; j Wi max zj; m  zi; m
the attributes where alternative i < alternative j.
Note: Relative attribute weights (wi) were determined
from the CA survey (n = 62). Previously, the relative attribute importance
The discord index, d(i, j), measures the strength of weights were only taken into consideration in com-
the greatest discontent or disagreement among all puting the concordance index. Consideration of this
attributes, when alternative i is selected over alterna- multiplication gives lower influence to the less rele-
tive j. In other words it indicates the level of discon- vant alternatives in estimating the discordance index.
tent that is accepted when attribute i is selected The basis for estimating the importance weight Wi is
instead of attribute j. The discord index d(i, j) is discussed in the next section.
defined as:



where z(i, m), z(j, m) is the scaled payoff value of As earlier discussed, in ELECTRE, the introduc-
alternative i or alternative j for attribute m, defined tion of two subjective inputs (i.e., interval scales and
as standardization operation on various qualitative
attributes) has resulted in the integrity of the final
output of the ranking method being unreliable (could
Smvi; m be predetermined by the decision maker). The deci-
zi; m ; 3
max vn; m  min vn; m sion maker can obtain a predetermined solution of a
n21;N n21;N
ranking problem by manipulating the interval scales
and attribute weights skillfully (Gershon et al., 1982).
v(i, m) is the actual payoff value; S(m) is the assigned If quantitative and qualitative data are analyzed
scale for attribute m, the scale being generally using the CA approach, the problem of using arbi-
assigned to indicate the relative preference the deci- trarily specified interval scales could be avoided.



Similarly, this also enables the assessment of attri- ral scale (Von Winterfeldt and Edwards, 1986;
bute weights on objectively comparable scales. In this Clemen, 1996). All this confirms that the part-worths
study, the objective estimation of relative weights have interval scale properties and could be used to
and attribute utilities from the application of the CA construct the concordance and discordance matrices
approach has eliminated the subjectivity factor in ELECTRE without using the subjective interval
involved in the original ELECTRE method. With the scales discussed above.
use of objectively measured data, the construction of
concord and discord indices (two integral inputs in
ELECTRE) has improved the reliability of the final Data Collection for Conjoint Analysis
rankings obtained from the use of ELECTRE I and II
methods. Ten potential water allocation attributes were ini-
Conjoint analysis is a scaling method originally tially decided from the first phase of the secondary
developed in the mathematical psychology research survey where 20 decision makers were asked to show
area (Noguchi and Ishii, 2000). Huber (2005) their preferences on the attributes. From the analysis
describes the method as follows: CA provided a the- of decision-makers preferences, the five attributes
ory for creating a measurement scale from judgments shown in Table 2 were found to be the most impor-
on conjoint objects. CA is a way to transform the tant water allocation attributes to the decision mak-
dross of ordinal preferences into the gold of interval ers. Note the farm decision makers made this
scales. The method is also used for measuring each decision, not the modeler. These attributes were then
attributes contribution to the overall utility of an used as input for the CA for estimating the part-
alternative being considered, through the specifica- worths for each attribute level. Each water allocation
tion of a utility or part-worth linked to each discrete attribute was assigned three levels based on the ter-
state the attribute can attain. The basic CA model ciles of the attribute gathered from the farm water
may be represented by the following formula: management survey (n = 300). For example, on aver-
age, 33% of the farmers in the surveyed IDs were
Xm Xki earning US$500 or less annually from one hectare of
UX aij xij ; 5 farm, while 66% had incomes of up to US$1,250 per
i1 j1
annum. Thus, the three levels to this particular attri-
bute were assigned as: <US$500 ha, US$500-
where U(X) is the Overall utility of an alternative 1,250 ha, and >US$1,250 ha.
(ascertained as the aggregate preference indicated by Although, there was a careful selection of attri-
survey respondents); aij is the part-worth contribution butes and attribute levels, there were still an exces-
or utility associated with the j-th level (j, j is the sive number of profiles the survey respondents
1,2,,ki) of the i-th attribute (i, i is the 1,2,,m), the needed to evaluate (35 = 243). To reduce the surveys
levels for each attribute being assigned based on user to a manageable number, the SPSS statistical pack-
surveys and the variability they suggest; xij is the 1 if age was used to generate hypothetical profiles from
the level of the i-th attribute is present and is the 0 the full set available. Sixteen hypothetical profiles,
otherwise; ki is the number of levels of attribute i; m each characterized by one level for each of the five
is the number of attributes. attributes, were generated. The 16 hypothetical pro-
files used for this study are shown in Table 3. An
examination of the profiles indicates that none of the
Defining Part-Worth hypothetical profiles was unrealistic in the real
world. For example, Profile 1 represented about 5% of
Conjoint analysis evaluates the attributes and the surveyed farms (n = 300) and Profile 2 was repre-
attribute levels on the same measurement scale. senting 8% of the surveyed farms. All this indicates
Thus, the part-worths for each attribute level can be that the constructed profiles were realistic and identi-
located on a general interval scale with a common cal with the actual field data gathered in farmer sur-
origin. Due to commensurable scales shared by all vey. A complete discussion on profile development
attributes, it is possible to make inter-attribute com- and field survey is provided in the senior authors
parisons of part-worth values and to determine an PhD dissertation (i.e., Zardari, 2008).
estimation of overall attribute importance in addition In a pairwiseh comparison,
i these 16 profiles could
to relative attribute importance (Louviere et al., result in 120 16161
2 pairs, which were again too
1993). The part-worth converts different levels of the many for a respondent to evaluate. To reduce the
attribute into a measure of worth using an interval load for the respondents, these 16 profiles were ran-
scale and reflects the decision-makers judgment domly split into two equal groups (eight profiles in
about the relative desirability of the attributes natu- each group). Even so, eight profiles in one-to-one



TABLE 3. Hypothetical Profiles and the Respondents Aggregate Preferences.

Amount Paid to PID

Percent for Weekly Water Water Use Annual Net Groundwater Aggregate
Profile of Family Working Share Efficiency Farm Income Quality Beneath Preferences
No. on the Farm (%) (US$ ha) (%) (US$ ha) the Farm (n = 31)

1 >80 <13 40-70 500-1,250 Fresh 0.58

2 50-80 <13 <40 >1,250 Marginal 2.32
3 50-80 13-25 40-70 <500 Fresh 1.61
4 <50 <13 >70 500-1,250 Saline 2.15
5 >80 13-25 40-70 <500 Fresh 0.39
6 >80 >25 <40 >1,250 Saline 2.68
7 50-80 13-25 >70 <500 Fresh 0.77
8 >80 <13 40-70 <500 Saline 0.90
9 >80 13-25 40-70 >1,250 Fresh 2.21
10 <50 <13 >70 >1,250 Marginal 3.16
11 50-80 13-25 <40 500-1,250 Saline 2.10
12 <50 <13 <40 <500 Fresh 0.10
13 50-80 >25 40-70 500-1,250 Fresh 1.84
14 >80 <13 <40 <500 Saline 0.52
15 <50 >25 40-70 <500 Fresh 0.23
16 50-80 13-25 40-70 <500 Marginal 1.71

comparison can produce 28 pairs. To further simplify in this paper was solved by conjoint programming
the conjoint questionnaire, one profile from each using SPSS command syntax and the part-worth for
group was randomly selected and compared with the each level of attribute was computed based on ordin-
remaining seven profiles. These two groups formed ary least squares (OLS) regression.
the basis of two separate CA questionnaires consist-
ing of seven pairwise choices. The 16 profiles were
printed on separate cards of identical length, breadth, Statistical Analysis of the Conjoint Data
and thickness. The color of cards was the same (blue).
The presentation of each card was also identical. All Estimation of Part-Worths for Each Attribute
these efforts were targeted to ensure no bias existed Level. The estimation of part-worths in CA depends
toward any individual profile on which responses on the type of dependent variable (for example, rank-
were sought. ing or rating scale). In SPSS Conjoint, part-worths
The next step was to operationalize the profiles. are estimated through OLS regression if the respon-
We decided to collect data face-to-face, with each sub- dents preferences to various profiles are on the rat-
ject performing the study in the presence of the sur- ing scale where the respondents preferences are
vey manager (the first author). For each profile we the dependent variable [denoted as U(X) in Equa-
gave a definition and a reason why the profile was tion 5] and the values on various attribute levels are
important. The reasons were kept moderate, so as independent variables (denoted as xijs in Equation 5).
not to bias the respondents in favor of any profile. The coefficient (aij) of each independent variable is
The 62 survey participants were randomly allocated the part-worth corresponding to the specific attribute
one of these two sets of profiles (31 participants for level. Note that a total of 15 (5 attributes and 3 lev-
each set of profiles). A five-point rating scale was els) independent variables are included in the analy-
used to show the preference for one profile vs. sis.
another. The aggregate preferences on 16 profiles In this study, the CA procedure was applied to
obtained from 62 survey participants are shown in estimate the part-worths for each attribute level, as
the last column of Table 3. To estimate the attribute described in Equation (5). These part-worths, analo-
part-worths and their relative importance weights gous to regression coefficients, provide a quantitative
necessary for objective computation of concordance measure of the preference for each attribute level,
and discordance matrices, SPSS 11.5 (SPSS Inc., with larger values corresponding to greater prefer-
2002) was applied to the data presented in Table 3 ence. Part-worths are expressed in a dimensionless
(with the aggregate preferences forming the overall unit, allowing them to be added together to give the
utility associated with each alternative used to solve total utility, or overall preference, for any combina-
the part-worths as expressed in Equation 5). In SPSS tion of attribute levels. Table 4 illustrates the part-
11.5, a graphical user interface is not available for worths and relative importance weights of attributes
the conjoint procedure. Thus, the problem presented that were attained.



TABLE 4. Conjoint Model Coefficients.

0 Importance 1
Range of Part-Worths B Maxaij Minaij
Attribute (i) Part-Worths
Weights wi @P  j j
Attributes (i) Level (j) (aij) Maxaij  Minaij Maxaij Minaij
j j i
j j

Percent of family working on <50 0.11 0.83 17.0%

the farm (%) 50-80 0.36
>80 )0.47
Amount paid to PID for weekly <13 )0.15 0.35 7.1%
canal water share (US$ ha) 13-25 0.20
>25 )0.05
Water use efficiency (%) <40 )0.38 0.64 13.1%
40-70 0.26
>70 0.12
Annual net farm income <500 )0.89 2.0 41.0%
(US$ ha) 500-1,250 )0.22
>1,250 1.11
Groundwater quality beneath Fresh )0.51 1.06 21.8%
the farm Marginal )0.04
Saline 0.55

Notes: Pearsons R = 0.969 Significance = 0.00; Kendalls tau = 0.90 Significance = 0.00.

Determining the Relative Importance Weights encouraged to go through the work of Hair et al.
of Attributes. As the part-worths are expressed on (2006).
a common scale, the attributes can be compared by
looking at the range (highest to lowest) of these utili-
ties (Reed, 1995). The Conjoint procedure uses these Completing Payoff Matrix in ELECTRE With Con-
ranges to compute relative importance weights for joint Output
each attribute. These are listed in the rightmost col-
umn of Table 4. The relative importance weights are In general, every ranking procedure consists of
computed by taking the utility range for the particu- segments related to: (1) the development of a payoff
lar attribute and dividing it by the sum of all the util- matrix (i.e., alternatives vs. attributes array); (2)
ity ranges. From Table 4, we can see that Annual net assignment of weights to the attributes; and (3)
farm income was a very important attributes (41.0%), application of the selected MCDM method. The cur-
whereas the Amount paid to PID was not (7.1%). By rent state of such methods requires the use of inter-
using the relative importance weights, the total util- val scales to make attribute scores comparable
ity of any combination, even ones not rated by across the attributes. It is common for the decision
respondents, can be predicted. maker (without consulting analysts or stakeholders)
Pearsons R and Kendalls tau association values to assign such interval scales to various attributes.
are used to assess the validity of the CA model. Pear- These arbitrarily specified interval scales have con-
sons correlation coefficient is a robust parametric siderable impact on the final ranking of alternatives
statistic that can measure the strength of association obtained from the use of any multicriterion decision
between two variables even when mathematical method. Moreover, as the attributes are heteroge-
assumptions appear violated (Smith and Albaum, neous and are measured on different measurement
2004). Kendalls tau, however, is a nonparametric scales, these scaling methods are applied to prob-
measure of association that makes no assumptions lems of different ranges and attribute scores of dif-
regarding frequency distribution (Field, 2003). In this ferent units. The goal of scaling is to bring all
study, 14 profile pairs ([8 ) 1] + [8 ) 1]) were used attribute scores into nondimensional units, and thus
for determining correlation coefficient and frequency make them comparable. Naumann (2002) states that
distribution. different scaling methods produce different sets of
Pearsons correlation coefficient (0.969) and Ken- nondimensional attribute scores. Thus, any predeter-
dalls tau (0.90) values were high and indicated mined solution can be justified by applying any
strong agreement between the averaged profile rat- favorable scaling method. Furthermore, Hobbs
ings and the predicted utilities (part-worths) from the (1980) in a study on selection of an optimal location
CA model. Readers interested in the complete details for a power plant found that different weighting
of the conjoint procedure and the conjoint outputs are methods produce various sets of attribute weights



and any predetermined solution can be obtained and that the respondents gave their highest preference to
justified. allocating water to the higher income districts since
All above attempts to make data usable for run- the utility attached to the farm having annual net
ning the ELECTRE lack axiom base and are very income greater than US$1,250 ha was the highest
subjective in nature. However, the part-worths (index (1.11) compared with utilities attached to all other
numbers) and the attribute relative importance levels of water allocation attributes. Additionally, to
weights obtained through CA here have axiom foun- the respondents, annual net farm income was the
dations and are more stable than the subjective most important attribute with 41% of relative impor-
inputs discussed above. Thus, in this study, the attri- tance weight (Table 4). Groundwater quality was
bute relative importance weights and the payoff the second most important water allocation attribute
scores necessary for the application of ELECTRE (21.8) followed by the percent of family working on
were determined from the application of CA to the the farm attribute (17.1). Amount paid to PID was
results of a large survey of farmer (irrigation water the least preferred attribute with relative importance
users) opinions. Attribute values shown in Table 2 weight of 7.1.
were replaced with the corresponding part-worths
(Column 3 of Table 4) and a payoff matrix (Table 5)
was completed.
For example, the average proportion of family RANKING OF IRRIGATION DISTRICTS
working on ID-I was 93% (Table 2), which falls in USING ELECTRE
Level 3 of family working on the farm attribute
(i.e., >80%). As the estimated part-worth for >80% of
family working on the farm attribute was )0.47 Applying ELECTRE I
(Table 4), thus the part-worth of )0.47 was assigned
to 93% of family working on the farm. This value is As discussed earlier, ELECTRE I produces a par-
shown in the third column of Table 5. Similarly, the tial ranking of alternatives. Three factors (concor-
other attribute values shown in Table 2 were dance, discordance, and thresholds) are needed to
replaced by the estimated part-worths and a payoff determine this ranking.
matrix (Table 5) was completed. Later, ELECTRE I
was applied to the payoff matrix and a partial rank- Establishing Concordance Matrix. The estima-
ing of dominant IDs was produced. The final ranking tion procedure for the concordance index follows the
of IDs was then established from the use of ELEC- logic outlined in Equation (1). Based on the data pre-
TRE II. sented in Table 5, ID-I is preferred to ID-II for the
PID and INCOME attributes. Additionally, ID-I and
ID-II assume equal preferences for the FAMILY attri-
A Brief Insight into the Conjoint Results bute. Thus, concordance index from Equation (1) for
districts I and II is calculated as:
Some interesting observations can be drawn from
the results presented in Tables 4 and 5. Users appear
f7:1 41:0 0:517:1g
more willing to improve water use efficiency rather cI; II 0:57
than to engage more family members to participate f17:1 7:1 13:1 41:0 21:8g
in farming (as the part-worth) for the highest water
use efficiency (0.12) was much higher than the part- The above value is shown in Row 2 and Column 3
worth for >80% of family working on the farm of the concordance matrix (Table 6), and the proce-
()0.47) (Table 4). The conjoint results (Table 4) reveal dure repeated for other entries.

TABLE 5. Attribute Part-Worths for Each District (expansion of Column 3 of Table 4).

Relative Irrigation Districts (ID-)

Importance Weights
Attributes (wi from Table 4) ID-I ID-II ID-III ID-IV ID-V ID-VI ID-VII ID-VIII ID-IX

FAMILY 17.1% )0.47 )0.47 0.11 0.11 0.11 0.36 0.11 )0.47 0.36
PID 7.1% 0.20 )0.05 )0.05 )0.15 0.20 )0.15 0.20 )0.15 0.20
EFFICIENCY 13.1% )0.38 0.12 )0.38 0.12 )0.38 0.26 0.12 0.26 )0.38
INCOME 41.0% 1.11 )0.89 )0.89 )0.22 )0.89 )0.89 )0.22 )0.89 1.11
QUALITY 21.8% )0.51 0.55 )0.04 )0.51 0.55 )0.04 )0.51 )0.51 )0.51



TABLE 6. Concordance Matrix [c(i, j)].


ID-I - 0.57 0.55 0.59 0.51 0.48 0.55 0.68 0.41

ID-II 0.44 - 0.59 0.35 0.44 0.49 0.28 0.58 0.35
ID-III 0.46 0.42 - 0.38 0.36 0.38 0.31 0.67 0.28
ID-VI 0.42 0.66 0.63 - 0.63 0.44 0.47 0.73 0.24
ID-V 0.50 0.57 0.65 0.38 - 0.49 0.34 0.67 0.32
ID-VI 0.53 0.52 0.63 0.57 0.52 - 0.53 0.70 0.44
ID-VII 0.46 0.73 0.70 0.54 0.67 0.48 - 0.77 0.28
ID-VIII 0.33 0.43 0.34 0.28 0.34 0.31 0.24 - 0.24
ID-IX 0.60 0.66 0.73 0.77 0.69 0.57 0.73 0.77 -

Establishing Weighted Discordance Matrix. The result of ELECTRE is an outranking relationship

estimation procedure for the discordance index follows that yields a partial ordering of the alternatives
the logic outlined in Equation (4). Looking at Table 5 for (Duckstein et al., 1991). ELECTRE II is then used to
weighted discordance index, ID-II was preferred to ID-I obtain a complete ordering.
for EFFICIENCY and QUALITY, which means the dis-
cordance between ID-I and ID-II only exists for those Constructing Preference Relationships. In the
two attributes. The largest weighted discordance next step of preference evaluation between the IDs,
between ID-I and ID-II was 0.23 = [(21.8 100) two preference diagrams are constructed by ELECTRE
(0.55 ) ()0.51)] for QUALITY. This value of weighted I for use as input into ELECTRE II. These diagrams
discordance index is shown in Row 2 and Column 3 of represent the strong and weak preference structures of
Table 7, and the procedure repeated for other entries. the decision maker. The strong preference diagram
was constructed from the use of stringent threshold
Selecting Thresholds (p, q). Note that both c(i, values (high concordance and low discordance). For
j) and d(i, j) fall in the interval (0, 1). To synthesize the weak preference diagram, the threshold values
information from both the concordance and discor- were relaxed by lowering p and increasing q. These
dance matrices, threshold values (p, q) are defined by relaxed threshold values can be thought of as lower
the decision maker. The values of p and q are in the restrictions on the system performance that the deci-
interval 0, 1: p close to 1 means high concordance; q sion maker may be willing to accept. The concordance
close to zero means low discordance. By choosing a and discordance matrices shown in Tables 6 and 7
value of p, the decision maker specifies how much have been superposed to yield Table 8. This table sum-
concordance is wanted; by specifying q, the amount marizes the information needed to build strong and
of discordance that is acceptable or can be tolerated weak preference relationships. Preference relation-
is specified (Duckstein et al., 1982). The choice of too ships are only developed when condition shown in
stringent threshold values (higher p and lower q) Equation (6) is satisfied for each ID pair.
may not yield feasible alternatives. Similarly, the
selection of very flexible threshold values (lower p
ci; j  p and di; j  q 6
and higher q) may develop a cycle relationship
between any two alternatives (e.g., A > B and B > A).
Thus, the selection of threshold values (p and q) is a In most ELECTRE applications, the mean values
very important issue and should get considerable of the elements in the concordance and discordance
attention of the decision maker or analyst. The final matrices are used as initial thresholds (Wade et al.,

TABLE 7. Discordance Matrix [d(i, j)].


ID-I - 0.23 0.10 0.10 0.23 0.15 0.10 0.09 0.15

ID-II 0.82 - 0.10 0.28 0.10 0.15 0.28 0.02 0.82
ID-III 0.82 0.13 - 0.28 0.13 0.09 0.28 0.09 0.82
ID-IV 0.54 0.23 0.10 - 0.23 0.10 0.03 0.02 0.54
ID-V 0.82 0.07 0.00 0.28 - 0.09 0.28 0.09 0.82
ID-VI 0.82 0.13 0.01 0.28 0.13 - 0.28 0.00 0.82
ID-VII 0.54 0.23 0.10 0.00 0.23 0.10 - 0.02 0.54
ID-VIII 0.82 0.23 0.10 0.28 0.23 0.15 0.28 - 0.82
ID-IX 0.00 0.23 0.10 0.07 0.23 0.10 0.07 0.09 -



TABLE 8. Superposition of Concordance and Discordance Indices.


ID-I p - 0.57 0.55 0.59 0.51 0.48 0.55 0.68 0.41

q - 0.23 0.10 0.10 0.23 0.15 0.10 0.09 0.15
ID-II p 0.44 - 0.59 0.35 0.44 0.49 0.28 0.58 0.35
q 0.82 - 0.10 0.28 0.10 0.15 0.28 0.02 0.82
ID-III p 0.46 0.42 - 0.38 0.36 0.38 0.31 0.67 0.28
q 0.82 0.13 - 0.28 0.13 0.09 0.28 0.09 0.82
ID-IV p 0.42 0.66 0.63 - 0.63 0.44 0.47 0.73 0.24
q 0.54 0.23 0.10 - 0.23 0.10 0.03 0.02 0.54
ID-V p 0.50 0.57 0.65 0.38 - 0.49 0.34 0.67 0.32
q 0.82 0.07 0.00 0.28 - 0.09 0.28 0.09 0.82
ID-VI p 0.53 0.52 0.63 0.57 0.52 - 0.53 0.70 0.44
q 0.82 0.13 0.01 0.28 0.13 - 0.28 0.00 0.82
ID-VII p 0.46 0.73 0.70 0.54 0.67 0.48 - 0.77 0.28
q 0.54 0.23 0.10 0.00 0.23 0.10 - 0.02 0.54
ID-VIII p 0.33 0.43 0.34 0.28 0.34 0.31 0.24 - 0.24
q 0.82 0.23 0.10 0.28 0.23 0.15 0.28 - 0.82
ID-IX p 0.60 0.66 0.73 0.77 0.69 0.57 0.73 0.77 -
q 0.00 0.23 0.10 0.07 0.23 0.10 0.07 0.09 -

1988). In our example, the mean values of concor- ELECTRE II application, it was necessary to increase
dance, p, and discordance, q, are 0.52 and 0.26 threshold values from the average concordance and
respectively. When the condition shown in Equa- discordance threshold values. Thus, increments of 10,
tion (6) was applied to Table 8 for the mean values, 20, and 30% in concordance and discordance thresh-
the dominance relationship (a relationship that shows olds were made. The preference relationships devel-
one district is preferred to another district) that oped from changing threshold values are presented in
results is illustrated in Figure 2. Table 9.
In some cases, it is possible that cycles or repeti- The preference relationship obtained by using
tions (For example, Alt. A> and <Alt. B) can exist. average threshold values (p 0.52; q 0.26) looked
In our study, no repetition or cycle in the prefer- overcrowded (too many inward and outward arrows
ence structure was found. However, to construct a for a specific node) as many relationships between
strong preference structure as necessary input for any pair of districts were found. Thus, the preference
relationship developed from the use of p = 0.572 and
q = 0.234 threshold values (10% increase in concor-
dance threshold mean value and 10% decrease in dis-
cordance threshold mean value) was considered to be
the weak preference relationship (Figure 2). On the
other hand, the use of the strongest threshold
values (p 0.676; q 0.182) produced a strong
preference relationship (Figure 3). Later, both weak
and strong preference relationships were used in
ELECTRE II operations and a complete ranking of
the nine IDs was developed. An algorithm defining
the ELECTRE II technique can be found in Gershon
et al. (1982).

Application of ELECTRE II

The ranking of alternatives by ELECTRE II is

completed in three stages. In the first stage, a for-
ward ranking (r*) is obtained. In the second stage, a
reverse ranking of alternatives (r**) is developed. In
FIGURE 2. Diagram Showing Weak Preference the last stage, final ranking which is called the med-
Relationship (p 0.572; q 0.234). ian ranking (r) is developed. Median ranking is a



TABLE 9. Preference Relationships for Different Pairs of Threshold Values.

Type of Preference Changes in Threshold

Relationship Thresholds Values Preference Relationship

Strongest p> and q< by p = 0.676 ID-I > ID-III, ID-IV, ID-VII, ID-VIII
30% of mean q = 0.182 ID-II > None
thresholds ID-III > None
ID-V > None
ID-VIII > None
Stronger p> and q< by p = 0.624 In addition to strongest relationship, the following
20% of mean q = 0.206 preference relationships were found.
thresholds ID-III > ID-VIII
Strong p> and q< by p = 0.572 In addition to stronger relationship, the following
10% of mean q = 0.234 preference relationships were found.
thresholds ID-I > ID-II, ID-V
Average p and q = mean p = 0.52 Preference relationships are shown in Figure 2
thresholds q = 0.26

Notes: > = increases or dominated to; < = decreases or dominated by.

Forward Ranking. The first step in the forward

ranking is to identify all nodes in the strong prefer-
ence relationship (Figure 3) that have no precedents
(nodes having no arrow directed into the node). In
this example, these nodes were I, II, V, VI, and IX
(where I, II, V, VI, and IX represent ID-I, ID-II, ID-
V, ID-VI, and ID-IX respectively). These nodes were
defined as the preferred districts and were placed in
Set A (Table 10).
Next, the nodes that had no precedents in weak
preference relationship (Figure 2) were identified. In
this example, those nodes were I, VI, and IX. These
nodes were placed in Set B. Then, the nodes that
had no precedents in both preference relationships
(strong and weak) were identified and placed in Set
C. These nodes were: ID-I, ID-VI, ID-IX. The ele-
ments of Set C were then assigned Rank 1.
The next step consisted of reducing weak (Fig-
ure 2) and strong (Figure 3) preference relationships
FIGURE 3. Diagram Showing Strong Preference
by eliminating those nodes that were contained in Set
Relationship (p 0.676; q 0.182). C. The arrows originating at these nodes were also
eliminated. In the next iteration, the reduced strong
and weak preference relationships were again exam-
blend of the forward and reverse rankings (Gershon ined to identify the nodes that had no precedents.
et al., 1982). In this example, a complete ranking of Those nodes comprised new Set A and Set B data,
IDs was developed from the use of weak and strong and the procedures outlined above were repeated.
preference relationships shown in Figures 2 and 3 The next set of nodes in Set C received Rank 2. This
respectively. iterative procedure was continued until all nodes of



TABLE 10. Forward and Reverse Rankings.

Forward Ranking Reverse Ranking

Iter. Set A Set B Set C Rank r* Iter. Set A Set B Set C Rank r Rank r**

1 I, II, V, VI, IX I, VI, IX I, VI, IX 1 1 II, III, V, VIII VIII VIII 1 6

3 II, III, V, VIII II, V II, V 3 3 II, IV, V, VI, VII II, V, VI II, V, VI 3 4
5 VIII VIII VIII 5 5 I, IX I I 5 2
6 IX IX IX 6 1

strong and weak preference relationships were elimi- oped from the use of concordance and discordance
nated and all districts were ranked. matrices. In the weak preference relationship,
values 10% stronger than the mean values of
Reverse Ranking. The first step in reverse rank- concordance and discordance (p 0.572; q 0.234)
ing was to reverse the direction of all arrows in both were used. In the strong preference relationship,
preference relationships (strong and weak). The the concordance mean value was increased by 30%
remaining steps were identical to the steps outlined and discordance mean value was decreased by 30%
in the forward ranking with one difference: the alter- (i.e., p 0.676; q 0.182). The results indicate that
native that was ranked last is now ranked first, and using the five water allocation attributes, ID-IX is
the remaining alternatives were ranked in reverse the most often preferred district to receive scarce
order. In our study, the rank of each district obtained water, followed by ID-I. On the other hand,
in both forward and reverse ranking processes is pre- ID-VIII is the least preferable district. Therefore,
sented in Table 10. the district selected as deserving highest preference
for water allocation by ELECTRE methodology
Final Ranking. Upon completion of the forward is district IX followed by districts I, IV, VI, and
and reverse ranking, an average of the two rankings VII.
is calculated for each alternative. Thus, if alternative The final ranking obtained from the use of ELEC-
i was ranked first in the forward ranking and second TRE I and II can be confirmed by looking at Table 5
in the reverse ranking, its average ranking is 1.5. (payoff matrix) with hindsight. This shows that ID-IX
The final stage of ELECTRE II is to order the alter- has the highest part-worth scores for two important
natives with respect to their average rankings. The attributes (i.e., FAMILY and INCOME). The relative
application of above process for this example has weights for FAMILY and INCOME were 17.0 and
established a complete ranking of IDs and is shown 41.0% respectively. On the other hand, ID-VIII (the
in Table 11. least preferred district) has the lowest part-worth
scores for the important water allocation attributes
(FAMILY, INCOME, and QUALITY), which put this
district in the last (ninth) position (marked with
ANALYSIS OF RESULTS Rank 6). This qualitative inspection indicates that
the ranking of IDs produced in this study from the
use of ELECTRE provides an objective basis for
The weak and strong preference relationships assigning preferences for allocation of the scarce
shown in Figures 2 and 3 respectively were devel- water resource.

TABLE 11. Final Ranking of Irrigation Districts.

Irrigation Districts


Forward ranking, r* 1 3 4 2 3 1 2 5 1
Reverse ranking, r** 2 4 5 3 4 4 3 6 1
Average ranking, r 1.5 3.5 4.5 2.5 3.5 2.5 2.5 5.5 1
Final ranking 2 4 5 3 4 3 3 6 1



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