In order to make a multi-annual satellite analysis of water quality, we made use of our programming knowledge and a Sentinel Hub EO Browser Custom Script in order to study the pollution of the Dambovita river.

The script provided us with a suggestive visual representation of the water body, marking in GREEN the healthy areas and in RED the polluted portions of the river.

Dambovita River 2018 (Pre-Pandemic) vs. 2020 (Pandemic) – Water Quality Comparison

As the strict lockdown throughout the pandemic directly influenced the air pollution, with less people and vehicles crowding the streets (as we have demonstrated in our previous participations in the ESA Climate Detectives School Projects), we decided to now analyze the difference between the water pollution levels before and during the pandemic.

As the image comparison below shows, the river was clearly less polluted in 2020 compared to 2018, both levels still being alarming.

Dambovita River 2020 (Pandemic) vs. 2022 (Post-Pandemic) – Water Quality Comparison

Similarly, the image comparison below enabled us to observe a trend of returning to the same pollution levels as before when the lockdown was released.

Thus, the water quality of Dambovita is now at an alarming level and it is high time we took action.

Dambovita River – Current Water Quality in Green Areas vs. the City Centre

Last but not least, we also studied the levels of pollution in different parts of the river. Subsequently, we can now conclude that the portions of the river that pass through green areas (for instance the Morii Lake) are a lot healthier (coloured in green) than those in the busy city of Bucharest (urbanized and high-traffic places such as the Union Square in the city centre, coloured in red).

Therefore, we assess that, similarly to air quality, the water quality is lower near high-traffic boulevards compared to the good level in arranged green areas.