Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) is a relatively new approach in Bolivia. However, it is now generally accepted that this approach needs to be established in order to find sustainable solutions for development and is actively promoted by the Water Ministry, especially in environmentally fragile regions, such as the Lake Poopo basin. The Lake Poopo basin is one of the poorest regions in the Bolivian Altiplano. It is confronted with severe water scarcity during the dry season, leading to low water quality, a high water-poverty index and low values of the watershed sustainability index. Furthermore, salinization and environmental degradation of soil and water are forcing people to migrate to urban areas. These are some of the factors underlying an ever-increasing complexity in integrated water resources management in the region. This paper proposes and develops a Multi-criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) in the Lake Poopo basin, based on economic, social and environmental criteria in an uncertain decision environment in order to support stakeholders in managing their water resources. Saaty's analytical hierarchy process (AHP) theory is applied here to solve the MCDA and to identify the alternatives using the highest expected utility value. The paper identifies the best solutions for existing conflicts, while promoting interaction with stakeholders and instruments in order to reach a sustainable strategy for water resources management in this water-scarce region.
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