Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 96, Issue 1, pp 35–52

A Generalized Water Quality Index for Taiwan


DOI: 10.1023/B:EMAS.0000031715.83752.a1

Cite this article as:
Liou, S., Lo, S. & Wang, S. Environ Monit Assess (2004) 96: 35. doi:10.1023/B:EMAS.0000031715.83752.a1


By exploring the behavior and limitations of conventional methods for quality evaluation, a better overall index for water quality in Taiwan and its application in Keya River are proposed. The thirteen variables are employed for the quality assessment. Numerical scales relating to the degree of quality are established for each variableto assess variations in quality and to convey findings in a comprehensive manner to others. The employed variables are categorized into three aspects referred to the principal components analysis, which are ‘organics’, ‘particulates’ and ‘microorganisms’. The overall index consists of the geometric mean for the three defined aspects and multiplying by three coefficients, which reflect quality degrees of temperature, pH and toxicity, respectively. Besides, the arithmetic mean is addressed among the variables associated in the same aspect. Finally, a fresh, mixed aggregation function is developed for ensuring that the index score tells us something useful and does not hide important information. A case study of the Keya River is made to illustrate the application of this new index system. The new proposed index provides comprehensive information for water quality assessment, than the existing index used in Taiwan does.

aggregation functionprincipal componentanalysisrating curvewater quality index

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shiow-Mey Liou
    • 1
  • Shang-Lien Lo
    • 1
  • Shan-Hsien Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate Institute of Environmental Engineering, National Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan (author for correspondence, e-mail