Having reliable water monitoring networks is an essential component of water resources and environmental management. A standardized process for the design of water monitoring networks does not exist with the exception of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) general guidelines about the minimum network density. While one of the major challenges in the design of optimal hydrometric networks has been establishing design objectives, information theory has been successfully adopted to network design problems by providing measures of the information content that can be deliverable from a station or a network. This review firstly summarizes the common entropy terms that have been used in water monitoring network designs. Then, this paper deals with the recent applications of the entropy concept for water monitoring network designs, which are categorized into (1) precipitation; (2) streamflow and water level; (3) water quality; and (4) soil moisture and groundwater networks. The integrated design method for multivariate monitoring networks is also covered. Despite several issues, entropy theory has been well suited to water monitoring network design. However, further work is still required to provide design standards and guidelines for operational use.
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