Water Quality Index as a Simple Indicator for Sustainability Management of Rural Landscape in West Java, Indonesia

Regan Leonardus Kaswanto; Hadi Susilo Arifin; Nobukazu Nakagoshi
Research on water quality in rural landscapes in four watersheds was conducted in the dry season period. Twenty four villages in the west part of Java Island, Indonesia, were selected as the study sites. Water samples from springs, ponds, paddy fields and rivers in each village were analyzed. The water quality index (WQI) results showed that the water samples were in “good” and “medium” level. This condition proofed that rural landscapes have the ability to absorb and clean the water pollution through the natural process. Further analysis shows the negative correlation between WQI and TIN (sum of NH4-N, NO3-N and NO2-N), which indicated the deterioration in water quality due to the addictive effect of inorganic nitrogen compounds. Furthermore, the negative correlation between WQI and dissolved oxygen (DO) indicates the water quality is still in low level which complies with the standard. In conclusion, as a useful method for water quality classification, the WQI is effectively applicable for the assessment of water quality in the rural landscapes. In addition, the results were easy to understand for the non-scientific public and decision-makers. The WQI is suitable for the water quality assessments for monitoring pollution control strategies, particularly in developing countries with limited budgets.
Agricultural Land; Rural Landscapes; Watershed Management; Water Quality Index; West Java Watersheds
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