Pollution levels have been increasing in water ecosystems worldwide. A water quality index (WQI) is an available tool to approximate the quality of water and facilitate the work of decision-makers by grouping and analyzing numerous parameters with a single numerical classification system. The objective of this study was to develop a WQI for a dam used for irrigation of about 5000 ha of agricultural land. The dam, La Vega, is located in Teuchitlan, Jalisco, Mexico. Seven sites were selected for water sampling and samples were collected in March, June, July, September, and December 2014 in an initial effort to develop a WQI for the dam. The WQI methodology, which was recommended by the Mexican National Water Commission (CNA), was used. The parameters employed to calculate the WQI were pH, electrical conductivity (EC), dissolved oxygen (DO), total dissolved solids (TDS), total hardness (TH), alkalinity (Alk), total phosphorous (TP), Cl−
, Ca, Mg, K, B, As, Cu, and Zn. No significant differences in WQI values were found among the seven sampling sites along the dam. However, seasonal differences in WQI were noted. In March and June, water quality was categorized as poor. By July and September, water quality was classified as medium to good. Quality then decreased, and by December water quality was classified as medium to poor. In conclusion, water treatment must be applied before waters from La Vega dam reservoir can be used for irrigation or other purposes. It is recommended that the water quality at La Vega dam is continually monitored for several years in order to confirm the findings of this short-term study.
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