Assessment of water quality along a recreational section of the Damour River in Lebanon using the water quality index
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Considering that water is becoming progressively scarce, monitoring water quality of rivers is a subject of ongoing concern and research. It is very intricate to accurately express water quality as water quantity due to the various variables influencing it. A water quality index which integrates several variables in a specific value may be used as a management tool in water quality assessment. Moreover, this index may facilitate communication with the public and decision makers. The main objectives of this research project are to evaluate the water quality index along a recreational section of a relatively small Mediterranean river in Southern Lebanon and to characterize the spatial and temporal variability. Accordingly, an assessment was conducted at the end of the dry season for a period of 5 years from 2005 to 2009. The estimated water quality index classified the average water quality over a 5-year period at the various sites as good. Results revealed that water quality of the Damour River is generally affected by the anthropogenic activities taking place along its watershed. The best quality was found in the upper sites and the worst at the estuary. The presence of fecal coliform bacteria in very high levels may indicate potential health risks to swimmers. This study can be used to support the evaluation of management, regulatory, and monitoring decisions.
KeywordsClassification Water quality Damour River Lebanon
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