Emerging Contaminant Research Prioritization Decision Making Frameworks Survey

The Global Water Research Coalition (GWRC) held a workshop on “Emerging Contaminants and Pathogens” in Karlsruhe, Germany in June 2015. An objective of that workshop was to identify and highlight research needs regarding emerging water quality contaminants. While numerous specific issues were identified, it was broadly acknowledged that the ability for water utilities to do so is hindered by the lack of the clear framework for prioritization. Such a framework would assist utilities in identifying appropriate criteria for prioritization, techniques for ‘weighting’ of balancing those criteria, techniques for assessing options against the criteria and techniques for drawing conclusions on research prioritization. The availability of such a framework was considered to have a number of potential advantages. These included:
  • An improved basis for research priority decision making;
  • Improved decision making justification to stakeholders (including the community);
  • Informed policy making.
The objective of this project is to develop a transparent and efficient decision making framework to be used in making and communicating decisions around the prioritization of research efforts on emerging water contaminants.