Developing Water Quality Risk Indices in the Tributaries of the Mekong River
This study intends to provide a better understanding of the regional water quality issues for the inhabitants of the tributaries of the Great Mekong River. Generally, water quality monitoring is done by sampling water quality in the field. However, due to time, manpower, technology, and financial constraints, water quality monitoring data is far from sufficient to represent all water sources in the tributaries of the Mekong River. This study developed various pollution risk indices, along with the current water quality data, to assess the potential water quality status in locations that lack the necessary water quality data. Four rivers and basins were selected for the study, namely the Chao Phraya River, Mun Rive, Sesan River, and Srepok River. Six indices were constructed through an analysis of available geographic data sets in GIS. The indices are the population pollution risk index, agricultural pollution risk index, dam pollution risk index, industrial pollution risk index, naturalness index, and landscape pattern index. Overall, the Chao Phraya River Basin is estimated from the indicator data to be the most polluted of the four river basins. The other three river basins have similar water quality, and the Vietnamese river basin as a whole has better water quality than Thailand.