Development of a Water Quality Index (WQI) of an Artificial Aquatic Ecosystem in Mexico


A Water Quality Index (WQI) is a simple numeric expression reflecting the quality of water in any ecosystem at a given time. The objective of this study was to develop a WQI for the man-made dam Francisco I. Madero located in Chihuahua, Mexico. Eight points were randomly selected in the dam area and at each point water samples were collected monthly from March 2011 to February 2012 at three depths; 0.30 m, 5 m and 10 m. The following physical-chemical variables were measured: potential hydrogen (pH), electrical conductivity (EC), dissolved oxygen (DO), temperature (T), turbidity, total dissolved solids (TDS), total hardness (TH) and chlorides (Cl-). In a first step for data analysis, an analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed for each variable considering a factorial treatment design 12 × 3 in which factor A was the month with 12 levels (sampling months) and factor B was the depth with three levels (0.30 m, 5 m and 10 m). In a second statistical step, the WQI was calculated for each month only for the surface sampling (0.30 m) and the resulting value was classified under three categories; <2.0 as poor water, in a range of 2.0 to 2.5 as good water and, >2.5 as excellent water. The results showed the following ranges for single variables: pH of 7.63 - 10.65, EC of 190 - 320 μS·cm-1, DO of 1.30 - 12.1 mg·L-1, T of 11.30°C - 30°C, Turbidity of 0-1, 120 NTU, TDS of 170 - 220 mg·L-1, TH of 240 - 900 mg·L-1 and Cl- of 7.28 - 7034 mg·L-1. The calculated WQI demonstrated that water quality varies seasonally and was classified as poor in the rainy season to good in winter season. We conclude that in general the water from the dam is acceptable and suitable for ecological and a broad spectrum of other purposes.

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H. Rubio-Arias, J. Ochoa-Rivero, R. Quintana, R. Saucedo-Teran, R. Ortiz-Delgado, N. Rey-Burciaga and J. Espinoza-Prieto, "Development of a Water Quality Index (WQI) of an Artificial Aquatic Ecosystem in Mexico," Journal of Environmental Protection, Vol. 4 No. 11, 2013, pp. 1296-1306. doi: 10.4236/jep.2013.411151.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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