Monitoring the Water Quality Bhopal Region using Satellite Imagery and GIS Techniques

Local Chapter VIT Bhopal University

Coordinated byIndia ,

Status: Completed

Project Duration: 16 Feb 2023 - 23 Mar 2023

Open Source resources available from this project

Project background.

In the 1980s, the Bhopal region experienced one of the worst industrial disasters marked to date. The catastrophe raised awareness about industrial pollution. The water quality of the lakes in Bhopal, has been significantly impacted by the 1984 gas tragedy. The release of toxic chemicals from the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant has contaminated the ground and surface water in the area, including the lakes. Tests conducted on the groundwater in communities situated around the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal have revealed high levels of pollutants such as heavy metals like lead, mercury, cadmium, Gamma HCH, Lindane, Beta HCH, Styrene, Mercury, Alpha HCH, Alpha Naphthol, Phosgene, Dichlorobenzene, etc.
In the years that followed, the Bhopal region dealt with environmental challenges, particularly regarding water quality. The lakes are also heavily polluted with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as benzene and toluene, pesticides, herbicides, and Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, leading to a decline in fish and other aquatic life. The water is also not safe for swimming or other recreational activities.

The government of Madhya Pradesh has been working to improve the water quality of the lakes in Bhopal. However, the scale of the contamination caused by the gas tragedy, as well as the ongoing pollution from industries and sewage, has made it difficult to fully restore the water quality of the lakes. There has been a lack of regular monitoring and testing of the water supply in Bhopal, making it difficult for the government to identify and address any ongoing water contamination issues. Improving Bhopal’s water quality is critical for the health and well-being of the local community.

The problem.

Bhopal is also known as “The City of Lakes”, which indicates that Bhopal has a significant quantity of Lakes.People who live in the area are constantly in contact with chemicals assimilated in the water bodies during Gas Tragedy.  Surveys done by the Bhopal campaign groups have shown that their environment contains six of the persistent organic pollutants banned by the United Nations for their highly poisonous impacts on the environment and human health, which has now reached 42 areas in Bhopal and continues to spread. According to the Surveyors, the situation is getting worse, andsecond and third-generation children are being born with disabilities.

Apart from this, during the “Gas Tragedy”, MIC(methyl isocyanide) was released, which reacts with water exothermically and produces carbon dioxide, methylamine, dimethylurea and/or trimethyl biuret, these chemicals cause adverse effects on human bodies, while incorporating itself to water. Swiss lab results show chloroform concentrations as many as 3.5 times higher than drinking-water guidelines from the[ World Health Organization]( and[ U.S. EPA](, and carbon tetrachloride at up to 2,400 times higher than the guidelines, which impels us to study various lakes of Bhopal. Therefore, we would like to develop a Machine Learning system for monitoring the water quality in the Bhopal region. We aim to assess water quality and its pollutants, while detecting the probable causes of water pollution, including “Bhopal Gas Tragedy”. We will predict the potential impacts of different pollution sources on the environment and human health (local community- people of Bhopal) by using a combination of remote sensing techniques, image processing methods, and GIS tools to extract relevant information from satellite data. 

The results of this study will provide valuable insights into the current state of water quality in the lakes of Bhopal regionThus, providing aid in the development of appropriate management strategies to improve water quality and protect public health. Additionally, the system will enable real-time monitoring of water quality, allowing for the timely intervention of concerned authorities, in case of any deterioration.

Project goals.

The Bhopal region has been facing environmental challenges regarding water quality for the past few decades (since the gas tragedy of 1989). Due to a lack of regular monitoring, the Government is unable to identify and address issues regarding water pollution, its supply, and any ongoing contamination issues in Bhopal Lakes. Many residents of Bhopal still lack access to clean drinking water that comes under the jurisdiction of the Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC). However, the quantity of water provided by the private hand pumps, and bore wells to them, more often than not, is highly polluted by pollutants such as heavy metals like lead, mercury, cadmium, Gamma HCH, Lindane, Beta HCH, Styrene, Mercury, Alpha HCH, Alpha Naphthol, Phosgene, Dichlorobenzene, etc.Several strategies are being adopted to upgrade the quality of water and to improve the accessibility of a large proportion of the population of the city to a healthy water supply by the city’s civil agencies in cooperation with other agents. Furthermore, this project will provide real-time water quality monitoringallowing authorities to work with better ideas on the quality. This project aims toprovide a safe and proper water supply to the local community of the Bhopal Region, which will improve their well-being. In addition to improving health, this will also help the aquatic environment, which is in decline. It will also give rise to other recreational activities for the people.    To precisely determine the water quality in the Bhopal region, our project intends to construct a Machine Learning system for processing satellite photos and GIS data. The primary causes of water contamination will be determined using the established algorithm. Using this algorithm, we can assess the water quality, detect probable sources of pollution, and predict how different pollution sources might impact the environment and human health. The result will provide valuable insights into the current water quality of the Bhopal region. Furthermore, the system will enable real-time monitoring of water quality, allowing for timely intervention in case of any deterioration in water quality. Collaboration with local authorities and organizations will help to implement the developed system and to address identified pollution issues. Based on feedback and new data, it will be assessed regularly and worked on to enhance the developed system. 

Project plan.

  • Week 1

    Literacy Review

  • Week 3

    Data Prepossessing

  • Week 4

    Model Making

  • Week 5


Learning outcomes.

Here the team members will use AI models, algorithms, and Machine Learning Techniques to develop a trustworthy outcome. The Bhopal region’s water quality may be precisely determined using a machine-learning technique that uses image processing from satellite pictures and GIS data. As a result, substantial image processing will be used, and datasets relevant to the issue statement will be examined. Algorithms make it simpler to track how the concentration of contaminants increases over time. This really aids in defining a precise time window for when the harshness of the content exceeds the acceptable standards for safety. As a result, the best degrees of Accuracy and Precision of the model will be achieved. The analysis and measurement of water quality will be done effectively and economically using satellite-based remote sensing. Any location in the world can have long-term baseline conditions established using satellite data. Using almost real-time satellite data, it can also provide information on both local and regional scales. The satellite-based remote sensing will be worked upon and thus studied.

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