Water quality monitoring in sub-Saharan African lakes: a review of remote sensing applications
Water quality deterioration in sub-Saharan Africa has attained a scale that requires scientific intervention. It is therefore important to devise appropriate and reliable techniques to investigate the water quality of lakes and reservoirs for the development of water resource management strategies. Whilst conventional water quality monitoring methods have been widely used due to their accuracy, these methods are time-consuming, costly and practically impossible to use at broader scales. This paper reviews the literature on various remote sensing platforms and techniques used for assessing and monitoring water quality in sub-Saharan Africa, and highlights their strengths and weaknesses. The use of remote sensing technology could enhance water quality monitoring, since remotely sensed data offer timely, up-to-date and comparatively accurate information, which is necessary for water resource management and strategic decision making. However, the use of this technology in some parts of sub-Saharan Africa is still at its infancy because of its high cost and limited availability.
Keywords: chlorophyll a, inland lakes, Landsat, MERIS, multispectral sensors, water resources