The use of drones in the surveillance of illegal water abstraction

31 Oct, 2022


The IMPEL Tackling Illegal Drilling and Abstraction project team (IMPEL TIGDA) would like to thank General Inspection of Agriculture, the Sea, the Environment and Spatial Planning (IGAMAOT) for hosting in Lisbon the recent project team meeting on the 13th and 14th of October.  Project team especially grateful to Ana Garcia, Mário Gracio and Aline Silva from IGAMAOT.


Claúdia Morgado (IGAMAOT) provided an excellent presentation of 5 different missions on the use of drones in different types of detection, from monitoring beehives through to measuring illegal waste dumps; from measuring excavation site to spatial planning. The presentation highlighted the benefits and limitations on drone surveillance and has also helped to shape the future direction of the project.  Project team also learnt that bees are attracted to drones – and watch out for territorial sea gulls!


On the 14th of October, the team carried out, through the Nature and Environment Protection Service (SEPNA), supported by the Emergency Protection and Rescue Unit (UEPS) with its unmanned aerial means, an inspection action to detect illegal capturing of water, in the action area of the Territorial Command of Santarém.


The IMPEL Tackling Illegal Drilling and Abstraction project team (IMPEL TIGDA) would like to thank the Portuguese Guarda Nacional Republican (GNR) for the support in providing a live demonstration of surveillance of illegal abstraction with the help of drones.


This action was accompanied by the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA), as the National Water Authority with competencies in the development and implementation of European legislation relating to the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/CE) and by members of the "European Union Network for the Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law" (IMPEL), within the scope of the project "Tackling illegal groundwater drilling and abstractions" (TIGDA), especially dedicated to the phenomenon of illegal water abstraction, whether by way of prospection or surface abstraction, with a view to monitoring and sharing good practices on an international scale.


Click here to see the video. Additional collaborators from other countries are still welcome.


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