Water bodies are characterised by active and long-term seasonal dynamics, and many of them have a large area and length, and are located in remote or inaccessible areas. All of these factors make remote sensing technology one of the most reliable tools to obtain objective and promptly updated information on the status of water resources.
Modern methods of data thematic processing allow you to monitor compliance with legislation, maintain optimum water conditions, control the quality of surface water and groundwater, ensuring that it meets health and environmental requirements, assist in the prevention or elimination of the harmful effects of water, and help to conserve the biodiversity of aquatic ecosystems.
The high speed of receiving and processing satellite imagery allows you to keep track of both long-term changes and rapid processes (natural and man-made floods, changes in ice conditions, changes related to natural phenomena and anthropogenic factors).
Information on the status of water bodies received from the analysis of remote sensing data (RSD) can be represented in the form of various cartographic, statistical and analytical materials. The results of RSD analysis can be accumulated in databases of information systems built using web-GIS technology, which greatly facilitates the continued use of the information obtained and reduces the time required to communicate that information to the end user.
The methods of remote sensing of water resources can be used in the following tasks:
- inventory of water facilities and the provision of relevant, promptly updated information for activities related to the water cadastre and water resource control;
- obtaining objective information on the size and condition of basins and watersheds;
- analysis of geometry change dynamics and the state of ponds and watercourse banks;
- analysis of channel and coastal process dynamics;
- monitoring the state of water reservoirs, including the assessment of their population density and intensity of emptying;
- inventory and assessment of the state of hydraulic structures;
- assessment of water conservation and restricted areas, including the detection of illegal industrial activities in these areas;
- real-time monitoring of flood situations and providing data for flood forecasting and modelling;
- real-time monitoring of ice conditions on rivers and lakes;
- assessment of the ecological status of water bodies, including the identification of areas of contamination with mineral-suspended solid particles, a high content of phytoplankton and aquatic vegetation development, as well as thermal anomalies;
- identifying man-made contamination of water bodies and analysis of any possible spread of contamination.