I understand water quality indices play a fundamental role in modelling water quality as they integrate multiple water quality parameters to bring about a single dimensionless digit that represents the overall quality of water corresponding to a textual rating.

However, the uses of water differ and the indices are usually calculated separately. I was wondering if there is a method for determining the water quality index on a watershed basis where multiple uses of water (ecosystem, drinking, irrigation etc) are integrated.


The United State Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) uses six indices to determine the overall health of a watershed.

  • Landscape Condition
  • Habitat
  • Hydrology
  • Geomorphology
  • Water Quality
  • Biological Condition

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Source: https://www.epa.gov/hwp/integrated-assessment-healthy-watersheds

More detailed information about how each one of these six indices is analyzed can be found at this link.

Here are two examples of these types of watershed index reports:



  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your answer. I was however referring to integration of water quality indices for multiple water uses. $\endgroup$ – Chimango Chisuwo Mar 27 '18 at 11:37

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