River water quality management using a fuzzy optimization model and the NSFWQI Index

  • Mohammad Kazem Ghorbani School of Civil Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran
  • Abbas Afshar School of Civil Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran
  • Hossein Hamidifar Water Engineering Department, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran
Keywords: ACO algorithm, fuzzy set theory, multiple pollutant, NSFWQI, QUAL2K model, waste load allocation model


In this study, a novel multiple-pollutant waste load allocation (WLA) model for a river system is presented based on the National Sanitation Foundation Water Quality Index (NSFWQI). This study aims to determine the value of the quality index as the objective function integrated into the fuzzy set theory so that it could decrease the uncertainties associated with water quality goals as well as specify the river's water quality status rapidly. The simulation-optimization (S-O) approach is used for solving the proposed model. The QUAL2K model is used for simulating water quality in different parts of the river system and ant colony optimization (ACO) algorithm is applied as an optimizer of the model. The model performance was examined on a hypothetical river system with a length of 30 km and 17 checkpoints. The results show that for a given number of both the simulator model runs and the artificial ants, the maximum objective function will be obtained when the regulatory parameter of the ACO algorithm (i.e., q0) is considered equal to 0.6 and 0.7 (instead of 0.8 and 0.9). Also, the results do not depend on the exponent of the membership function (i.e., γ). Furthermore, the proposed methodology can find optimum solutions in a shorter time.

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Research paper