Multiple attribute evaluation is used to score and rank five management alternatives for the Missouri River system developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Alternatives are characterized by 10 attributes, namely flood control, hydropower, recreation, Missouri River navigation, water supply, fish and wildlife, interior drainage, groundwater, historic properties and Mississippi River navigation. Since preferences for the attributes are unknown, alternatives are compared using four hypothetical attribute-weighting schemes. Utility scores for the alternatives obtained using a linear additive utility function indicate that the modified conservation plan (MCP), which incorporates adaptive management, increased drought conservation measures, changes in Fort Peck dam releases and unbalanced levels in the upper three reservoirs, is preferred to the current water control plan (CWCP) with the neutral, pro-recreation/fish and wildlife, and pro-fish and wildlife weights. MCP ranked above the four Gavins Point (GP) alternatives except with the pro-fish and wildlife weights. CWCP is more preferred than the four GP options with the neutral and pro-agriculture weights and less preferred with the pro-recreation/fish and wildlife and pro-fish and wildlife weights. The GP option with the lowest reduction in summer flow and smallest spring rise (GPA) ranks above the GP option with the highest spring rise and greatest reduction in summer flow (GPB), a spring rise only (GPC) and a lower summer flow only (GPD). © 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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