Many of today’s environmental problems are regional in scope and their effects overlap andinteract. The purpose of this paper is to developed a simple method for an integratedassessment of environmental conditions across the Mid-Nakdong River Region, by combiningdata on land use, impervious cover, roads, streams, riparian areas, forest patches, population,pollutant loadings, soil erosion and topography. A cluster analysis was used to identify groupsof sub-watersheds with similar environmental characteristics. The mean value for each groupwas used to find watershed that may be more vulnerable to future environmental degradation.Watersheds in cluster I and II had high amount of forest, but the amount of riparian vegetationwas low. Watersheds in cluster III, which located in the middle Geumho River and the maincourse of Nakdong River, had a greater proportion of their agriculture, a greater proportion ofagriculture on steep slopes, and less forest adjacent to streams. Watersheds in cluster IV and Vwere in the most urbanized areas of the region. The principal adverse impacts for watersheds inthis group were high scores for urban area, impervious cover, pollutant loadings, populationdensity, forest fragmentation, and low amounts of forest and riparian forest cover.Notwithstanding the exploratory nature of cluster analysis, it appears to be a useful tool for
grouping watersheds with similar environmental characteristics.