Systematic analysis of the Environment of Esfarayen plain aquifer using Buckley Fuzzy AHP

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Esfarayen Branch, Islamic Azad University, Esfarayen, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Industrial Engineering, Esfarayen University of Technology, Esfarayen, Iran.

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Esfarayen University of Technology, Esfarayen, Iran.


Increasing water consumption along with the arid climate of Iran, has caused increasing pressure on groundwater resources and has made attention to strategic planning of water resources as a necessity. In this research, the strategic planning process of Esfarayen plain aquifer, which is one of the plains of the central desert basin of Iran, has been studied. For this purpose, a SWOT analysis was performed for the plain and its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats were identified. These factors were systematically analyzed using Buckley Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process (FAHP) and based on this analysis, the prior type of strategies were proposed. In SWOT analysis, five factors were identified for each group of strengths and weaknesses and seven factors were identified for each group of opportunities and threats. The results of systematic analysis of SWOT factors showed that the share of two groups of opportunities and weaknesses in higher priority factors was more than the two groups of strengths and threats, so that the share of opportunities, weaknesses, threats and strengths in the first half of the list of factors was 71, 60, 43 and 20 percent of the factors in these groups, respectively. Therefore, it is suggested that in selecting appropriate strategies for the future of groundwater in Esfarayen plain, priority should be given to WO strategies. Strategies that try to improve and eliminate weaknesses within the system by using the opportunities available in the external environment.


Main Subjects

  1. Alizadeh, A. (2015). Principles of Applied Hydrology. Imam Reza University, Iran [In Persian].
  2. Asadabadi, E., Asadi, A.,& Kalantari, K. (2020). Choosing water Allocation Strategy in Hamedan–Bahar Aquifer Based on SWOT and Multi-Criteria Decision Making. Iranian Agricultural Extension and Education Journal, 16(2), 39-62.
  3. Azarnivand, A. & Banihabib, M. E. (2017). A multi-level strategic group decision making for understanding and analysis of sustainable watershed planning in response to environmental perplexities. Group decision and negotiation, 26(3), 629-648.
  4. Azarnivand, A., Hashemi-Madani, F. S. & Banihabib, M. E. (2015). Extended fuzzy analytic hierarchy process approach in water and environmental management (case study: Lake Urmia Basin, Iran). Environmental earth sciences, 73(1), 13-26.
  5. Bakalár, T., Pavolová, H. & TokarĨík, A. (2021). Analysis and Model of River Basin Sustainable Management by SWOT and AHP Method Water, 13(17), 2427.
  6. Banihabib, M. E., Hashemi-Madani, F.-S. & Forghani, A. (2017). Comparison of compensatory and non-compensatory multi criteria decision making models in water resources strategic management. Water Resources Management, 31(12), 3745-3759.
  7. Buckley, J. J. (1985). Fuzzy hierarchical analysis. Fuzzy sets and systems, 17(3), 233-247.
  8. Chan, N. W., Roy, R. & Chaffin, B. C. (2016). Water governance in bangladesh: An evaluation of institutional and political context. Water, 8(9), 403..
  9. Chande, M. M. & Mayo, A. W. (2019). Assessment of groundwater vulnerability and water quality of Ngwerere sub-catchment urban aquifers in Lusaka, Zambia. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts A/B/C 112: 113-124.
  10. Chang, D. Y. (1996). Applications of the extent analysis method on fuzzy AHP. European journal of operational research, 95(3), 649-655.
  11. Chitsaz, N. & Azarnivand, A. (2017). Water scarcity management in arid regions based on an extended multiple criteria techniques. Water Resources Management, 31(1), 233-250.
  12. Faghih, H. & Behmanesh, J. (2016). The need to update the national water document, In: Proceeding of 2th National Conference Semi-Arid Hydrology, Sanandaj [In Persian].
  13. Farzi, A. & Mehrabadi, J. (2019). Systematic Analysis of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of On-site Greywater Reuse in Iran Based on Fuzzy Analytical Hierarchy Process. Iran-Water Resources Research, 15(4), 12. [In Persian].
  14. Gholizadeh, M., Farzi, A. & Masoomi, S. (2021). Solar Desalination in Iran–a SWOT analysis using Fuzzy AHP. Journal of Environmental Science Studies, 6(1), 3352-3359 [In Persian].
  15. Gogus, O., & Boucher, T. O. (1997). A consistency test for rational weights in multi-criterion decision analysis with fuzzy pairwise comparisons. Fuzzy sets and Systems, 86(2), 129-138.
  16. Hob eVatan, M., Heydari, N., Jafari, B., Arshadi, M., Lotfi, S. & Zarghami, M. (2020). Strategic Analysis for the Better Performance and More Authority of Iran’s Supreme Water Council Using SWOT Method. Iran-Water Resources Research, 16(4), 15-30. [In Persian].
  17. Hojjati, M. H., & Boustani, F. (2010). An assessment of groundwater crisis in Iran case study: Fars province. International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 4(10), 2066-2070.
  18. Iranian Ministry of Energy. (2017). Report on the extension of the ban on the exploitation of groundwater resources in the Esfarayen plain [In Persian].
  19. Kallioras, A., Pliakas, F., Diamantis, I. & Kallergis, G. (2010). SWOT analysis in groundwater resources management of coastal aquifers: a case study from Greece. Water International, 35(4), 425-441.
  20. Kurttila, M., Pesonen, M., Kangas, J. & Kajanus, M. (2000). Utilizing the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) in SWOT analysis-a hybrid method and its application to a forest-certification case. Forest policy and economics, 1(1), 41-52.
  21. Maghami Moghim, G., Taghipour, A., & Khairy, H. (2020). Investigating Human Positive Impacts on the Changes in Groundwater Level of Safiabad Plain of Esferayen. Hydrogeomorphology, 6(21), 23-42.
  22. Mohammadi, A., & Banihabib, M. (2020). Strategic Management Model for Virtual Water Exchange of Iranian Agricultural and Animal Productions. Water and Irrigation Management, 10(1), 15-29. [In Persian].
  23. Mohammadi, A., & Karami, G. (2013). Investigation of saline water introsion from the central desert to Esfarayen aquifer (North Khorasan). Geotechnical Geology, 9 (1), 53-63. [In Persian]
  24. Nagara, G., Lam, W.-H., Lee, N. C. H., Othman, F. & Shaaban, M. G. (2015). Comparative SWOT analysis for water solutions in Asia and Africa. Water Resources Management, 29(1), 125-138.
  25. Omranian Khorasani, H., Davary, K., Bagheri, A., & Gheisani, E. (2014). Implementation of Strategic Water Resources Management; A proposed framework utilizing "Road Map" tool. Journal of Water and Sustainable Development, 1(2). [In Persian].
  26. Podimata, M. V. & Yannopoulos, P. C. (2013). Evaluating challenges and priorities of a trans-regional river basin in Greece by using a hybrid SWOT scheme and a stakeholders' competency overview. International journal of river basin management, 11(1), 93-110.
  27. pourfallah, S., Ekhtesasi, M. R., Malekinezhad, H., & Barzegari, F. (2019). Application of Swot Analytical Model in Assessing the Strength and Weakness of the Area in Order to Balance the Aquifer of Abarkuh Plain. Journal of Watershed Management Research, 10 (20), 179-188.
  28. Praveena, S. M. & Aris, A. Z. (2009). A review of groundwater in islands using SWOT analysis. World Review of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, 6(2-4), 186-203.
  29. Rachid, G., Alameddine, I. & El-Fadel, M. (2021). SWOT risk analysis towards sustainable aquifer management along the Eastern Mediterranean. Journal of Environmental Management, 279, 111760.
  30. Takeleb, A., Sujono, J. & Jayadi, R. (2020). Water resource management strategy for urban water purposes in Dili Municipality, Timor-Leste. Australasian Journal of Water Resources, 24(2), 199-208.