Existing practices in IWRM often rely on (economic) optimization on one or two objectives. This biases results towards the status quo and against innovative solutions, can foster stakeholder resistance when they do not recognize their values and objectives in the optimization formulation, while also raising ethical concerns related to the inclusion of undesirable and/or hidden trade-offs. In contrast, many-objectives optimization approaches can consider many non-aggregated objectives, which has the potential to enrich the solution space with innovative alternative courses of action that better reflect the diverging perspectives of stakeholders, and align better with ethical concerns. The aim of this project is to test in real-world case studies to what extent many-objective optimization can deliver on these promises.
The research is part of an international research project, funded under the Water JPI 2018 Closing the Water Cycle Gap program, with partners in Italy, France, and Tunisia. The postdoc will develop an ethically informed many-objective framework for IWRM, assist the partners in applying the framework, and perform cross-case comparisons. This implies that the postdoc will work closely with the partners in these countries. The project has a duration of 3 years.