The quality of drinking water is of vital concern for human health and life. The present investigation was aimed at assessing the water quality index (WQI) of five fresh water streams feeding Wular lake. Analysis of the data revealed that the WQI values ranged from a minimum of 45.4 to a maximum of 48.9. Among the study sites, Makdhoomyari stream showed higher values of WQI while as lowest was shown by Madhumati. Pearson matrix revealed that conductivity showed significant positive correlation with total dissolved solids (P < 0.01, r = 0.807) and total alkalinity (P < 0.01, r = 0.635). Total hardness was found to bear strong positive correlation with calcium (P < 0.01, r = 0.819), while temperature maintained inverse relationship with dissolved oxygen (P < 0.01, r = 0.78). The results support that the water parameters are desirable and the water quality of these streams falls under Category I based on water quality index values. Bray Curtis similarity dendrogram depicted that Erin and Gurura streams had maximum (99%) similarity; while as lowest similarity was observed between Makdhoomyari and Ashtungu streams (85.98%). The present finding revealed that these streams need immediate attention to prevent them from further deterioration.
Key words: Water quality index, Wular lake, Pearson correlation, Kashmir, Himalaya
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