Water Quality Indices

Water Quality Indices

1st Edition - March 10, 2012

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  • Authors: Tasneem Abbasi, S Abbasi
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780444638366
  • eBook ISBN: 9780444543059

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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 (Dhamija and Jain 1995)

    3.22 Coastal Water-Quality Index for Taiwan (Shyue et al. 1996)

    3.23 The Modified Oregon Water-Quality Index (Cude, 2001)

    3.24 The ‘Overall Index of Pollution’

    3.25 The Canadian Water-Quality Index (CCME, 2001) and the Index of Said et al. (2004)

    3.26 A ‘Universal’ Water-Quality Index

    3.27 Improved Methods of Aggregation

    3.28 A First-Ever WQI For Vietnam

    3.29 A Comparison

    Chapter 4. Combating Uncertainties in Index-based Assessment of Water Quality

    Chapter 5. Indices Based on Relatively Advanced Statistical Analysis of Water-Quality Data

    5.1 Introduction

    5.2 Harkin’s Index

    5.3 Beta Function Index

    5.4 An Index with A Multi-pronged (‘Mixed’) Aggregation Function

    5.5 WQI For Mediterranean Costal Water of Egypt Based on Principal-Component Analysis

    5.6 WQI for Rio Lerma River

    5.7 A New WQI Based on A Combination of Multivariate Techniques

    5.8 Indices for Liao River Study

    5.9 Water-Quality Index Based on Multivariate Factor Analysis (Coletti et al., 2010)

    5.10 Study of Anthropogenic Impacts on Kandla Creek, India

    Chapter 6. Water-Quality Indices Based on Fuzzy Logic and Other Methods of Artificial Intelligence

    6.1 Introduction

    6.2 Fuzzy Inference

    6.3 A Primer on Fuzzy Arithmetic

    6.4 Towards Application of Fuzzy Rules in Developing Water-Quality Indices: The Work of Kung et al. (1992)

    6.5 Assessment of Water Quality Using Fuzzy Synthetic Evaluation and Other Approaches Towards Development of Fuzzy Water-Quality Indices

    6.6 Reach of Fuzzy Indices in Environmental Decision-Making

    6.7 A WQI Based on Genetic Algorithm

    6.8 The Fuzzy Water-Quality Index of Ocampo-Duque et al. (2006)

    6.9 ICAGA’S Fuzzy WQI

    6.10 Use of Ordered Weighted Averaging (OWA) Operators for Aggregation

    6.11 Fuzzy Water-Quality Indices for Brazilian Rivers (Lermontov et al., 2008, 2009; Roveda et al., 2010)

    6.12 A Hybrid Fuzzy – Probability WQI

    6.13 An Entropy-Based Fuzzy WQI

    6.14 A Fuzzy River Pollution Decision Support System

    6.15 A Fuzzy Industrial WQI

    6.16 Impact of Stochastic Observation Error and Uncertainty in Water-Quality Evaluation

    Chapter 7. Probabilistic or Stochastic Water-Quality Indices

    7.1 Introduction

    7.2 A ‘Global’ Stochastic Index of Water Quality

    7.3 A Modification in the Global Stochastic Index by Cordoba et al. (2010)

    Chapter 8. ‘Planning’ or ‘Decision-Making’ Indices

    8.1 Introduction

    8.2 Water-Quality Management Indices

    8.3 Dee’s WQI-Based Environmental Evaluation System

    8.4 Zoeteman’s Pollution Potential Index (PPI)

    8.5 Environmental Quality Index Presented by Inhaber (1974)

    8.6 Johanson and Johnson’s Pollution Index

    8.7 Ott’s NPPI

    8.8 Water-Quality Indices for Operational Management

    8.9 Index to Regulate Water-Management Systems

    8.10 Index to Assess the Impact of Ecoregional, Hydrological and Limnological Factors

    8.11 A Watershed-Quality Index

    8.12 Index for Watershed Pollution Assessment

    8.13 A GIS-Assisted Water-Quality Index for Irrigation Water

    8.14 A System of Indices for Watershed Management

    8.15 A Fuzzy WQI for Water-Quality Assessment of Shrimp Forms

    8.16 An Index to Assess Acceptability of Reclaimed Water for Irrigation

    8.17 An Index for Irrigation Water-Quality Management

    8.18 Index for the Analysis of Data Generated by Automated Sampling (Continuous Monitoring) Networks

    8.19 An Index of Drinking-Water Adequacy for the Asian Countries

    8.20 Indices for the Prediction of Stream of Quality in an Agricultural Setting

    8.21 An Index to Assess Extent of Wastewater Treatment

    8.22 Use of Indices for Prioritising Pacement of Water-Quality Buffers to Control Nonpoint Pollution

    Chapter 9. Indices for Assessing Groundwater Quality

    9.1 Introduction

    9.2 The WQI of Tiwari and Mishra (1985)

    9.3 Another Oft-Used Groundwater-Quality Index Development Procedure

    9.4 Index of Aquifer Water Quality (Melloul and Collin, 1998)

    9.5 Groundwater-Quality Index of Soltan (1999)

    9.6 A Groundwater Contamination Index

    9.7 An Index for Surface Water as well as Groundwater Quality

    9.8 Use of Groundwater-Quality Index, Contamination Index and Contamination Risk Maps for Designing Water-Quality Monitoring Networks

    9.9 Attribute Reduction in Groundwater-Quality Indices Based on Rough Set Theory

    9.10 Index Development Using Correspondence Factor Analysis

    9.11 Indices for Groundwater Vulnerability Assessment

    9.12 Groundwater-Quality Index to Study Impact of Landfills

    9.13 Indices for Optimising Groundwater-Quality Monitoring Network

    9.14 Economic Index of Groundwater Quality Based on the Treatment Cost

    9.15 The Information-Entropy-Based Groundwater WQI of Pei-Yue et al. (2010)

    9.16 A WQI for Groundwater Based on Fuzzy Logic

    9.17 Use of WQI and GIS in Aquifer-Quality Mapping

    Chapter 10. Water-Quality Indices of USA and Canada

    10.1 Introduction

    10.2 WQIS of Canada

    10.3 WQIS of the USA

    10.4 The WQI of Said et al. (2004)

    Chapter 11. WQI-Generating Software and a WQI-based Virtual Instrument

    11.1 Introduction

    11.2 The Basic Architecture of Qualidex

    PART II. Water Quality Indices Based On Bioassessment

    Chapter 12. Water-Quality Indices Based on Bioassessment

    12.1 Introduction

    12.2 Biotic Indices in the Context of the Evolution of Water-Quality Indices

    12.3 Stressor-Based and Response-Based Monitoring Approaches

    12.4 Biotic Indices − General

    Chapter 13. The Biotic Indices

    13.1 Introduction

    13.2 The Challenge of Finding ‘Control’ Sites

    13.3 The Cost Associated with the Use of Biological Assessments of Water

    13.4 Organisms Commonly used in Bioassessment

    13.5 Biotic Indices for Freshwater and Saline water Systems Based on Macroinvertebrates

    13.6 Biotic Indices as Indicators of Water Safety and Human Health Risks

    13.7 Comparison of Performances of Different Biotic Indices

    13.8 Biotic Indices and Developing Countries

    13.9 Limitations of Biotic Indices

    13.10 WQIS and BIs: An Overview

    Chapter 14. Indices of Biological Integrity or the Multi-metric Indices

    14.1 Introduction

    14.2 The First IBI (Karr, 1981)

    14.3 The Driver–Pressure–Stress–Impact–Response (DPSIR) Paradigm and The IBI

    14.4 Illustrative Examples of IBI Development

    14.5 Overview of IBIS Based on Different Taxa

    14.6 IBIs for Different Aquatic Systems

    14.7 Inter-IBI Comparison

    14.8 The Present and the Future of IBI

    14.9 The Now Well-Recognised Attributes of IBI

    14.10 The Shortcomings of IBI

    Chapter 15. Multivariate Approaches for Bioassessment of Water Quality

    15.1 Introduction

    15.2 Rivpacs

    15.3 Variants of Rivpacs

    15.4 The Multivariate Approaches and the IBI

    PART III. Looking Back, Looking Ahead

    Chapter 16. Water-Quality Indices

    16.1 Introduction

    16.2 The Best WQI?

    16.3 The Path Ahead

    16.4 The Last Word


Product details

  • No. of pages: 384
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier 2012
  • Published: March 10, 2012
  • Imprint: Elsevier
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780444638366
  • eBook ISBN: 9780444543059

About the Authors

Tasneem Abbasi

Tabassum Abbasi is Assistant Professor at Pondicherry University, India. She received her Masters from the University of Surrey and her PhD in 2010 from the Anna University of Technology, India, both in Chemical and Environmental Engineering. She also held a concurrent position of Visiting Associate Professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, USA during 2012-2017. Dr. Abbasi was awarded India’s Best Young Engineer Award in 2014, has published over 100 papers with 3500+ citations and authored 10 books.

Affiliations and Expertise

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

S Abbasi

S. A. Abbasi has been a full university professor since 1987 after being Head-in-charge of the Water Quality & Environment Division at the Centre for Water Resources, Kozhikode, during 1979-87. He was a Visiting-cum-adjunct Professor at California State University during 1984-1987, and has been a Visiting Professor at the universities of Minnesota, Florida, Las Vegas, California−Berkeley, Malaya and Al-Ahsa. With 43 books, over 300 papers in indexed journals, 8 patents and 9000+ citations, Prof Abbasi is among the world’s foremost environmental experts. Among numerous coveted honours and awards received by him are the National Design Award in Environmental Engineering, the National Hydrology Award, the International Desalination Association’s prize, and fellowships of the National Academy of Sciences and the Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers. He has been Member, Board of Governors, IIT Roorkee, Member of the BHU Court, and has been Chairman/Member of numerous high-level committees of MNES, DST, MoWR, AlCTE, and the UGC.

Affiliations and Expertise

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

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