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Development of groundwater quality index


Assessing the water quality status for special use is the main objective of any water quality monitoring studies. The water quality index (WQI) is a mathematical instrument used to transform large quantities of water quality data into a single number which represents the water quality level. In fact, developing WQI in an area is a fundamental process in the planning of land use and water resources management. In this study, a simple methodology based on multivariate analysis is developed to create a groundwater quality index (GWQI), with the aim of identifying places with best quality for drinking within the Qazvin province, west central of Iran. The methodology is based on the definition of GWQI using average value of eight cation and anion parameters for 163 wells during a 3-year period. The proportion of observed concentrations to the maximum allowable concentration is calculated as normalized value of each parameter in observing wells. Final indices for each well are calculated considering weight of each parameter. In order to assess the groundwater quality of study area, the derived indices are compared with those of well-known mineral waters. Using developed indices, groundwater iso-index map for study area and the map of areas of which the indices are near to mineral waters was drawn. In the case study, the GWQI map reveals that groundwater quality in two areas is extremely near to mineral water quality. Created index map provides a comprehensive picture of easily interpretable for regional decision makers for better planning and management.

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Correspondence to Mohesn Saeedi.

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Saeedi, M., Abessi, O., Sharifi, F. et al. Development of groundwater quality index. Environ Monit Assess 163, 327–335 (2010).

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