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Reconstitute Information about Discontinued Water Quality Variables in the Nile Delta Monitoring Network Using Two Record Extension Techniques

Authors: Bahaa Khalil, Taha B. M. J. Ouarda, André St-Hilaire


The world economic crises and budget constraints have caused authorities, especially those in developing countries, to rationalize water quality monitoring activities. Rationalization consists of reducing the number of monitoring sites, the number of samples, and/or the number of water quality variables measured. The reduction in water quality variables is usually based on correlation. If two variables exhibit high correlation, it is an indication that some of the information produced may be redundant. Consequently, one variable can be discontinued, and the other continues to be measured. Later, the ordinary least squares (OLS) regression technique is employed to reconstitute information about discontinued variable by using the continuously measured one as an explanatory variable. In this paper, two record extension techniques are employed to reconstitute information about discontinued water quality variables, the OLS and the Line of Organic Correlation (LOC). An empirical experiment is conducted using water quality records from the Nile Delta water quality monitoring network in Egypt. The record extension techniques are compared for their ability to predict different statistical parameters of the discontinued variables. Results show that the OLS is better at estimating individual water quality records. However, results indicate an underestimation of the variance in the extended records. The LOC technique is superior in preserving characteristics of the entire distribution and avoids underestimation of the variance. It is concluded from this study that the OLS can be used for the substitution of missing values, while LOC is preferable for inferring statements about the probability distribution.

Keywords: Record extension, record augmentation, monitoringnetworks, water quality indicators.

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