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Desalination, Vol.478, 2020
Risk evaluation of large-scale seawater desalination projects based on an integrated fuzzy comprehensive evaluation and analytic hierarchy process method
Desalination projects play a vital role in the water supply of coastal regions with scarce water resources. The risks associated with desalination projects are worth investigating, especially for large-scale projects. This paper presents the risk identification and evaluation processes of large-scale desalination projects. Two levels of risk indicators are identified and the first-level risks include water intake and outfall risk, processing risk, financial risk and circumstance risk. With the identified risk indicators, an integrated fuzzy comprehensive evaluation (FCE) and analytic hierarchy process (AHP) method is introduced to conduct quantitative risk evaluations for large-scale desalination projects. Twenty experts in desalination-related fields are invited to vote to determine the weighting vectors for the FCE through the AHP. They also participate in deciding the membership matrixes in the FCE for three practical desalination projects. The evaluation results indicate that the overall risks of all the considered projects are at the "Very low" level. Finally, to diminish the potential risks, several instructions and recommendations are suggested that depend on the evaluation outcomes. It is expected that the current risk evaluation research will make remarkable contributions to the risk management and control of large-scale desalination projects and further promote the development of the desalination industry.