EPA Science Inventory

How Can Remote Sensing Be Used for Water Quality Monitoring?

Citation:

Lee, C., T. Orne, AND B. Schaeffer. How Can Remote Sensing Be Used for Water Quality Monitoring? Presented at National Water Quality Monitoring Council 9th National Monitoring Conference, Cincinnati, OH, April 28 - May 02, 2014.

Description:

“How can remote sensing address information needs and gaps in water quality and quantity management?” was a workshop convened during the biennial National Water Quality Monitoring Conference 2014, held in Cincinnati, OH. The focus of this workshop was to provide an overview of satellite remote sensing for water quality, discuss example case studies, and strengthen communications between water quality managers and the research community. One of the highest priorities of the NASA Applied Sciences Program is the development and transition of tools, services, and applications that leverage Earth observations, satellite assets and the state of science to benefit society. Towards this goal, the Water Resources Application Area of the NASA Applied Sciences Program has been exploring how satellite remote sensing could contribute to water quality monitoring decisions and practices. By cultivating a better understanding of water quality information needs and data gaps, Applied Sciences hopes to facilitate a mechanism for applying satellite remote sensing to help address identified gaps. The attendees of this workshop identified their roles as primarily researchers who may inform water quality monitoring goals or practices at federal, state, and local water agencies; a small subset of attendees were from academia. Attendees reflected that remote sensing appealed to them by improving greater spatial and temporal coverage aspects of water monitoring, and that ground-based monitoring efforts are often limited by budget constraints. Spatial coverage, in some cases, also included access to data and information about target sites that were inaccessible and/or very remote and hard to reach. The predominant gaps that were identified included monitoring inland water bodies, including land/surface water bodies and reservoirs, which can be challenging for remote sensing researchers due to land adjacency effects and the need for atmospheric corrections that would be applicable in these environments. Algal blooms were also mentioned frequently, followed by changes in land use that could impact water quality, vegetation growth, thermal spills, and nutrients. To encourage consideration of satellite remote sensing for water quality management, attendees were encouraged to submit pilot project ideas for their specific applications of interest. Project ideas were submitted using an online questionnaire or a 1-2 page concept proposal, in which the attendees would be the primary operational partner and NASA Applied Sciences would help find a satellite remote sensing applications researcher or opportunity to match that project. As of June 6, several pilot project ideas are being developed, with potential partners actively pursuing this opportunity. Working project ideas include: (1) Use of remote sensing to characterize extent of algal blooms in North Carolina estuaries; (2) A review of the current utility of hyperspectral remote sensing data (HICO) for water quality applications; and (3) Post fire recovery impacts on water quality using remote sensing of land surface characteristics in Los Angeles River Watershed. Attendees and other potential partners can continue to submit project ideas by contacting any of the NASA authors of this report. Additional resources can be found by visiting appliedsciences.nasa.gov and develop.larc.nasa.gov.

Purpose/Objective:

To provide an overview of satellite remote sensing for water quality, discuss example case studies, and strengthen communications between water quality managers and the research community.

URLs/Downloads:

http://acwi.gov/monitoring/conference/2014/   Exit

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/SLIDE)
Completion Date: 09/02/2014
Record Last Revised: 09/02/2014
Record Created: 09/02/2014
Record Released: 09/02/2014
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 285441

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LAB