Remotely Monitoring Water Resources: An EPA/NASA Workshop



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United States Environmental Protection Agency


In December, 1996, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) brought together scientists and managers from both agencies and their collaborating research organizations to discuss the potential applications of existing and developmental remote sensing technologies to water resources monitoring. The workshop planners crafted the following statement to explain the workshop's aims and guide its participants: Monitoring the condition or health of the environment is essential to its proper stewardship and management. Under the Clean Water Act, water resources are monitored by states and other jurisdictions, but current programs are unable to monitor all their watersheds, water bodies, and point-and non-point pollution sources. In reality, the majority of U.S. water bodies are not monitored regularly, and even more are not monitored as well as resource managers would like. This is both a financial and technical problem, as many monitoring methods are not cost-effective or technologically efficient enough for monitoring all water bodies of interest. The rapid advancement of new technologies, such as remote sensing, may someday provide methods for monitoring more water quality parameters, in more water bodies, with improved accuracy, or with reduced per-unit costs. To actively improve the status of monitoring science, however, monitoring professionals must learn about emerging technologies as well as those available now, and researchers who develop these technologies must learn the needs of their clientele. In order to focus and accelerate research and applications of advanced technologies in water resources monitoring, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are convening a workshop to discuss and match monitoring needs with the appropriate advanced technologies. The purpose of this workshop is to expose technical and management personnel of both agencies to (1) NASA's remote sensing science and technology, and (2) EPA's water resources monitoring requirements and data bases. The goal of the workshop is mutual education, and the opportunity to explore future collaboration in water monitoring/remote sensing research and applications.


116 pages; available for download at the link below.


environmental monitoring, remote sensing, environmental protection