43rd Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Peripheries, Centres, and Spatial Development in the New Europe", 27th - 30th August 2003, Jyväskylä, Finland
Since climate changes became more obvious and since growing concern about our responsibility for the environment started, water management became more important. Projects carried out in river basin areas often impose changes in spatial functions that are situated in these areas. The analysis of scarcity issues regarding spatial functions observed in a river basin area is at the core of economic and spatial sciences. Water functions are predominant in a river basin area and problems related to these functions highlight the increasing scarcity of water in the world. Scarcity could be a shortage of water quantity, but also a shortage of water of a certain quality or protection against an abundance of water. Evaluation processes are the heart of public decision-making when spatial projects are carried out. For decades, project evaluation was carried out by measuring tangible streams of cost and benefits summarised in a cost-benefit analysis. Recently, environmental and social aspects gradually get more attention in the public decision making process by means of for example multi-criteria analysis. This method is a tool to evaluate the scores of totally different indicators with the great advantage that they do not necessarily have to be expressed in streams of costs. In this paper we carry out a comparative analysis of evaluation techniques for projects carried out in river basin areas. We evaluate for which projects certain techniques are used and to which extend the chosen technique is related to for example environmental, institutional and communicative indicators. The method used for this evaluation is a rough set analysis. For this analysis projects concerning river basins, carried out in different river regions of Europe, with different kind of problems are used, to obtain a broad overview.