American Society of Civil Engineers

Evaluating Watershed Management within a River Basin Context Using an Integrated Indicator System

by Min Goo Kang, (corresponding author), (Research Fellow, Woolim Lions Valley, C-405, 371-28 Gasan-dong, Geumcheon-gu, Seoul, 153-786, South Korea; formerly, Senior Researcher, Agricultural Water Resources Environment Laboratory, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National Univ., Room 3208, Building 200, 599 Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 110-799, South Korea E-mail:, Gwang Man Lee, (Head Researcher, Korea Institute of Water and Environment, Korea Water Resources Corporation (K-Water), Daejon, 305-730, South Korea. E-mail:, and Ick Hwan Ko, (Director, Korea Institute of Water and Environment, Korea Water Resources Corporation (K-Water), Daejon, 305-730, South Korea. E-mail:

Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, Vol. 136, No. 2, March/April 2010, pp. 258-267, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: Factor analysis is used to develop an integrated indicator system that evaluates the state of watersheds from three perspectives (subindexes): water-use management, flood management, and environment and ecosystem management. The system, which has a total of nine indicators, is applied to evaluate the state of watershed management in the Han River basin, South Korea. For all the subindexes, preliminary tests, namely, the Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin test and the Bartlett test of sphericity, are conducted to evaluate the suitability of the data collected for factor analysis. The variables related to each subindex are then grouped into three factors (indicators) with the variables’ statistical characteristics taken into account. The results of the application of the system to the case study show that the indicator system reasonably depicts the state of the watersheds in the Han River basin and can be effectively applied to resolve concerns in watershed management; the system is one of the inevitable elements in the adaptive watershed management process. Examining the correlations between the indicators proves that the selection of the indicators and their variables is appropriate from a statistical perspective. In addition to providing evaluation information about the state of watersheds from multiple perspectives, the system can be used as a preprocessing step for watershed management modeling regarding the choice of watershed variables within the context of river basins.

ASCE Subject Headings:
River basins
South Korea
Storage tanks
Stormwater management
Water management
Water pollution

Author Keywords:
River basins
Indicator system
Factor analysis
The Han River basin in South Korea
Adaptive watershed management