Assessing water quality in rivers with fuzzy inference systems: a case study

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Journal: Environ Int 2006/05/09
Published: 2006
Authors: Ocampo-Duque, W.;Ferre-Huguet, N.;Domingo, J. L.;Schuhmacher, M.
Address: School of Chemical and Process Engineering, Rovira i Virgili University, Avenida de los Paises Catalanes 26, 43007 Tarragona, Spain.

In recent years, fuzzy-logic-based methods have demonstrated to be appropriated to address uncertainty and subjectivity in environmental problems. In the present study, a methodology based on fuzzy inference systems (FIS) to assess water quality is proposed. A water quality index calculated with fuzzy reasoning has been developed. The relative importance of water quality indicators involved in the fuzzy inference process has been dealt with a multi-attribute decision-aiding method. The potential application of the fuzzy index has been tested with a case study. A data set collected from the Ebro River (Spain) by two different environmental protection agencies has been used. The current findings, managed within a geographic information system, clearly agree with official reports and expert opinions about the pollution problems in the studied area. Therefore, this methodology emerges as a suitable and alternative tool to be used in developing effective water management plans.

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