In the study suitability of water quality index approach and environmetric methods in fi ngerprinting heavy metal pollution as well as comparison of spatial variability of multiple contaminants in surface water were assessed in the case of The Gediz River Basin, Turkey. Water quality variables were categorized into two classes using factor and cluster analysis. Furthermore, soil contamination index was adapted to water pollution index and used to fi nd out the relative relationship between the reference standards and the current situation of heavy metal contamination in water. Results revealed that surface water heavy metal content was mainly governed by metal processing, textile and tannery industries in the region. On the other hand, metal processing industry discharges mainly degraded quality of water in Kemalpasa and Menemen. Furthermore, Kemalpasa region has been heavily affected from tannery and textile industries effl uents. Moreover, pollution parameters have not been infl uenced by changes in physical factors (discharge and temperature). This study indicated the effectiveness of water quality index approach and statistical tools in fi ngerprinting of pollution and comparative assessment of water quality. Both methods can assist decision makers to determine priorities in management practices.