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Composite Index

The coastal data/ information will remain as researcher's interest if the public does not understand the meaning of these scientific data in their everyday life.  As a matter of fact, many of these coastal data can be very relevant if we relate them to the environment.  Hence it is important that scientists take one step further to develop indicators in such a way that scientific measurement can be transformed into the layman's terminology.  Hence, an indicator should fulfill the following purposes:

  • To provide quantitative measurements of the coastal environment
  • To monitor the trend of this impact

However, when one has to deal with a macroscopic view of the environment, in this case, the coastal environment, it will involve many indicators such as the suspended particles, the dissolved oxygen, organic and inorganic substances and etc.  This can become quite overwhelming for non-scientist, so when the set of indicators become too big to comprehend, a composite index will consolidate the information into a concise signal should be developed.  The index is basically an objective standard that has been derived from the relationships of the various indicators.  By tracking and monitoring the index, we can have a better understanding of whether our environment is improving or deteriorating.

Since the Pearl River Delta is quite a big area, in order present a more precise indication, it is proposed to partition this coastal region into smaller area.  So the water quality index is a proposed concept on how such information should be presented to the public or non-scientific community.