Water Quality Indices

1st Edition

Authors: Tasneem Abbasi S Abbasi
Hardcover ISBN: 9780444543042
eBook ISBN: 9780444543059
Imprint: Elsevier
Published Date: 4th April 2012
Page Count: 384
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This book covers water quality indices (WQI) in depth – it describes what purpose they serve, how they are generated, what are their strengths and weaknesses, and how to make the best use of them. It is a concise and unique guide to WQIs for chemists, chemical/environmental engineers and government officials.

Whereas it is easy to express the quantity of water, it is very difficult to express its quality because a large number of variables determine the water quality. WQIs seek to resolve the difficulty by translating a set of a large number of variables to a one-digit or a two-digit numeral. They are essential in communicating the status of different water resources in terms of water quality and the impact of various factors on it to policy makers, service personnel, and the lay public. Further they are exceedingly useful in the monitoring and management of water quality.

With the importance of water and water quality increasing exponentially, the importance of this topic is also set to increase enormously because only with the use of indices is it possible to assess, express, communicate, and monitor the overall quality of any water source.

Key Features

  • Provides a concise guide to WQIs: their purpose and generation
  • Compares existing methods and WQIs and outlines strengths and weaknesses
  • Makes recommendations on how the indices should be used and under what circumstances they apply


Chemists, chemical/environmental engineers and government officials

Table of Contents

Dedicated to


PART I. Water Quality Indices Based Predominantly on Physico-chemical Characteristics

Chapter 1. Why Water-Quality Indices

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Water-Quality Indices (WQIS)

1.3 Back to Water-Quality Indices (WQIS)

1.4 The First Modern WQI: Horton’s Index

1.5 More on the Benefits of WQI

1.6 WQIs Based on Bioassessment

Chapter 2. Approaches to WQI Formulation

2.1 Introduction

2.2 The Common Steps

2.3 Parameter Selection

2.4 Transformation of the Parameters of Different Units and Dimensions to a Common Scale: Making Subindices

2.5 Assignment of Weightages

2.6 Aggregation of Subindices to Produce a Final Index

2.7 Characteristics of Aggregation Models

Chapter 3. ‘Conventional’ Indices for Determining Fitness of Waters for Different Uses

3.1 General

3.2 Brown’s or the National Sanitation Foundation’s Water-Quality Index (NSF-WQI)

3.3 Nemerow and Sumitomo’s Pollution Index

3.4 Prati’s Implicit Index of Pollution

3.5 Deininger and Landwehr’s PWS Index

3.6 Mcduffie and Haney’s River Pollution Index (RPI)

3.7 Dinius’ Water-Quality Index (1972)

3.8 O’Connor’s Indices

3.9 Walski and Parker’s Index

3.10 Stoner’s Index

3.11 Bhargava’s Index (1983, 1985)

3.12 Dinius’ Second Index

3.13 Viet and Bhargava’s Index (1989)

3.14 The River Ganga Index of Ved Prakash et al.

3.15 Smith’s Index (1990)

3.16 Chesapeake Bay Water-Quality Indices (Haire et al. 1991)

3.17 The Aquatic Toxicity Index

3.18 Li’s Regional Water Resource Quality Assessment Index (1993)

3.19 A Two-Tier WQI

3.20 Use of WQI To Assess Pond Water Quality (Sinha, 1995)

3.21 Use of WQI to Study Hanuman Lake, Jabalpur (D


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About the Author

Tasneem Abbasi

Affiliations and Expertise

Centre for Pollution Control and Environmental Engineering, Pondicherry University, Chinnakalapet, Puducherry, India

S Abbasi

Affiliations and Expertise

Centre for Pollution Control and Environmental Engineering, Pondicherry University, Chinnakalapet, Puducherry, India