Water quality standards are developed worldwide by national and international agencies for pollution control decision-making. Use-based water quality classification criteria and Water Quality Indices (WQIs) also play an important role in the assessment of the suitability of water resources for various applications. The present study proposes a better overall index for water quality in Iran and its application in Karoon River by exploring the behavior and limitations of conventional methods for quality evaluation. For this purpose, six variables were employed. Water quality determinants of the new index include Dissolved Oxygen, Total Dissolved Solids, Turbidity, Nitrate, Fecal coliform and pH. Besides, the mathematical equations applied to transform the actual concentration values into quality indices have been formulated. This study compares a new index called the Iranian Water Quality Index with other pre-existing indices such as NSFWQI, Oregon, CPCB WQI, MDOE WQI, Kaurish and Younos WQI, and Ahmed Said WQI. Results revealed that the overall quality of the surface water falls under the ‘good’ class. A case study of Karoon River is made to illustrate the application of this new index system.

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