River basin surveillance using remotely sensed data
This thesis describes the development of an operational river basin water resources information management system. The river or drainage basin is the fundamental unit of the system; in both the modelling and prediction of hydrological processes, and in the monitoring of the effect of catchment management policies. A primary concern of the study is the collection of sufficient and sufficiently accurate information to model hydrological processes. Remote sensing, in combination with conventional point source measurement, can be a valuable source of information, but is often overlooked by hydrologists, due to the cost of acquisition and processing. This thesis describes a number of cost effective methods of acquiring remotely sensed imagery, from airborne video survey to real time ingestion of meteorological satellite data. Inexpensive micro-computer systems and peripherals are used throughout to process and manipulate the data. Spatial information systems provide a means of integrating these data with topographic and thematic cartographic data, and historical records. For the system to have any real potential the data must be stored in a readily accessible format and be easily manipulated within the database. The design of efficient man-machine interfaces and the use of software enginering methodologies are therefore included in this thesis as a major part of the design of the system. The use of low cost technologies, from micro-computers to video cameras, enables the introduction of water resources information management systems into developing countries where the potential benefits are greatest.