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Stream water quality, as a global consensus, is treated as an important index for assessing environmental quality in watershed regions. In general, to check the compliance rate of stream water quality with regulatory standards is the basic requirement for evaluating the progress of watershed management works. However, if considering the stochastic natural properties of environment, it is inadequate to extract information only from the results by screening data with standards. To assess stream water quality is a multi-dimensional problem, which involves various variables, temporal, and spatial dimensions. Therefore, how to simplify the complicated situations logically and scientifically is the major concern for the assessment in watersheds. A characteristic methodology that combines the minimum operator approach (Ott, 1978), the water quality index (WQI) system, the sorting procedure (Lin, 1998), and the distribution of water use classification is demonstrated successfully to characterize the stream water quality for watershed scale assessment. This methodology is not only to meet the requirement by standards but also to provide characteristic information for advanced resolution about water quality. Among many techniques, the sorting procedure and the cumulative percentage distribution are consistent with each other in presenting the water quality and are highly suggested to apply for the assessment and decision making. Comparing with traditional techniques for data analysis, the new technique presents more valuable and advanced information on stream water quality for watershed management.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-01-01

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