Water Quality Assessment, Trophic Classification and Water Resources Management

DOI: 10.4236/jwarp.2010.210108   PDF   HTML     5,729 Downloads   11,811 Views   Citations


Quantification of water quality (WQ) is an integral part of scientifically based water resources management. The main objective of this study was comparative analysis of two approaches applied for quantitative assessment of WQ: the trophic level index (TLI) and the Delphi method (DM). We analyzed the following features of these conceptually different approaches: A. similarity of estimates of lake WQ; B. sensitivity to indicating disturbances in the aquatic ecosystem structure and functioning; C. capacity to reflect the impact of major management measures on the quality of water resources. We compared the DM and TLI based on results from a series of lakes covering varying productivity levels, mixing regimes and climatic zones. We assumed that the conservation of aquatic ecosystem in some predefined, “reference”, state is a major objective of sustainable water resources management in the study lakes. The comparison between the two approaches was quantified as a relationship between the DM ranks and respective TLI values. We show that being a classification system, the TLI does not account for specific characteristics of aquatic ecosystems and the array of different potential uses of the water resource. It indirectly assumes that oligotrophication is identical to WQ improvement, and reduction of economic activity within the lake catchment area is the most effective way to improve WQ. WQ assessed with the TLI is more suitable for needs of natural water resources management if eutrophication is a major threat. The DM allows accounting for several water resource uses and therefore it may serve as a more robust and comprehensive tool for WQ quantification and thus for sustainable water resources management.

Share and Cite:

A. Parparov, "Water Quality Assessment, Trophic Classification and Water Resources Management," Journal of Water Resource and Protection, Vol. 2 No. 10, 2010, pp. 907-915. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2010.210108.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] R. G. Wetzel. Limnology. Lake and River Ecosystems. Third ed. Academic Press, San Diego. 2001, 1006 pp.
[2] R. E. Carlson. A trophic state index for lakes. Limnology and Oceanography, vol. 22, 1977, pages 361-369.
[3] OECD. 1982. Eutrophication of waters. Monitoring, assessment and control. Paris, 154 pp.
[4] N. Burns, J. McIntosh, P. Scholes. Strategies for managing the lakes of the Rotorua District, New Zealand. Lake and Reservoir Management, vol. 21, 2005, pages 61-72.
[5] C. Kaiblinger, O. Anneville, R. Tadonleke et al. Central European water quality indices applied to long-term data from pre-alpine lakes: test and possible improvements. Hydrobiologia, vol. 633, 2009, pages 67–74.
[6] G. Giordani, J. M. Zaldivar, P. Viaroli. Simple tools for assessing water quality and trophic status in transitional water ecosystems. Ecological Indicators, vol. 9, 2009, pages 982-991.
[7] S. E. Jorgensen, and R. A. Vollenweider. General introduction. Pages 13-18 In: S. E. Jorgensen and R. A. Vollenweider (eds.) Guidelines of lake management. Vol. 1. 1989.Intern. Lake Environment Committee, Shiga, Japan.
[8] R. K. Horton,. An index-number system for rating water quality. Journal of Water Pollution Control Federation, vol 37, no. 3, 1965, pages 300-306.
[9] W. Ott. Water quality indices: a survey of indices used in the United States. Environmental Monitoring Series, EPA-600/4-78-005, 1978, 128 pp.
[10] P. M. Brown, N. I. McClelland, R. A. Deninger, R. G. Tozer, R. G. A water quality index - do we dare? Water Sewage World, 1970, pages 339-343.
[11] A. Parparov, K. D. Hambright. 2007. Composite water quality: evaluation and management feedbacks. Water Quality Research Journal of Canada, vol. 42, 2007, pages 20-25.
[12] C. G. Cude. Oregon water quality index: a tool for evaluating water quality management effectiveness. Journal of American Water Research Association, vol. 37, 2001. pages 125-137.
[13] M. A. House. Water quality indices as indicators of ecosystem change. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, wol. 15, 1990, pages 255-263.
[14] D. G. Smith. 1990. A better water quality indexing system for rivers and streams. Water Researsh, vol. 24, 1990, pages 1237- 1244.
[15] A. Parparov, K. D. Hambright, L. Hakanson, A. P. Ostapenia. Water quality quantification: basics and implementation. Hydrobiologia, vol. 560, 2006, pages 227-237
[16] K. D. Hambright, A. Parparov, T. Berman, T. Indices of water quality for sustainable management and conservation of an arid region lake, L. Kinneret (Sea of Galilee), Kinneret. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, vol. 10, 2000. pages 393-406
[17] USGS. Water-Quality and Lake-Stage data for Wisconsin Lakes, Water Year 2000. U.S Geological Survey, Open-File Report 01-86. Middleton, Wisconsin, 2001,128 pp.
[18] U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. An approach to a relative trophic index system for classifying lakes and reservoirs. National Eutrophication Survey. Working Paper No. 24, 1974.
[19] P. Scholes, M. Bloxham. Rotorua lakes water quality 2006 report. Environmental Bay of Plenty. Environmental Publication 2007/12, Whakatane, New Zealand, 2006, 86 pp
[20] C. Serruya, editor. Lake Kinneret. Dr. Junk Publishers, The Hague, 1978, 474 p.
[21] T. Zohary. Changes to the phytoplankton assemblage of L. Kinneret after decades of a predictable, repetitive pattern. Freshwater Biology, vol. 49, 2004, pages 1355-1371.
[22] G. G. Winberg. (ed.) The ecological system of the Naroch Lakes, Minsk, Universitetskoye Press (in Russian), 1985, 289 pp.
[23] R. Koschel, D. D. Adams . An approach to understanding a temperate oligotrophic lowland lake (Lake Stechlin, Germany). Archiv fur Hydrobiologie, Special Issues Advanced Limnology, vol.58, 2003, pages 1-9.
[24] T. Gonsiorczyk, P. Casper, R. Koschel, R. Long-term development of the phosphorus accumulation and oxygen-consumption in the hypolimnion of oligotrophic Lake Stechlin and seasonal variations in the pore water chemistry of the profundal sediments. Archiv fur Hydrobiologie. Special Issues Advanced Limnology, vol. 58, 2003, pages 73-86.
[25] R. A. Vollenweider. 1976. Advances in defining critical loading levels for phosphorus in lake eutrophication. Memorie dell' Istituto Italiano di Idrobiologia. vol.33, 1976, pages 53-83.
[26] D. W. Schindler. 1977. Evolution of phosphorus limitation in lakes. Science, 195: 260-262.
[27] K. H. Rekhow. Empirical lake models for phosphorus: development, applications, limitations and uncertainty. Pages 193-121, In: Scavia, D., Robertson, A. (Eds.). Perspectives on lake ecosystem modeling. Ann Arbor Sci., Ann Arbor, 1979.
[28] R. E. Carlson and J. Simpson. A Coordinator’s Guide to Volunteer Lake Monitoring Methods. North American Lake Management Society. 1996, 96 pp.
[29] Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for community action in the field of water policy. Official Journal of the European Communities.
[30] Y. Z. Yacobi. Temporal and vertical variation of chlorophyll a concentration, phytoplankton photosynthetic activity and light attenuation in Lake Kinneret: possibilities and limitations for simulation by remote sensing. Journal of Plankton Research, vol. 28, no. 8, 2006, pages 725-736.
[31] W. F. Vincent, M.M. Gibbs, S.J. Dryden. Accelerated eutrophication in a New Zealand lake: Lake Rotoiti, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, vol. 18, 1984, pages 431-440.
[32] N. M. Burns, J. Deely, J. Hall, K. Safi. Comparing past and present trophic states of seven Central Volcanic Plateau lakes, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research vol. 31, 1997, pages 71-87.

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2020 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.