The need exists to find a means of rapidly assessing the trophic state of water bodies which would make it economically feasible to operate extensive systematic surveillance programs of the water resources in the United States. Airborne multispectral sensors show promise as a means of monitoring these resources on a continuous basis. The Image Processing Laboratory at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency has been involved in water quality studies for the past five years. During this time the primary aim has been to demonstrate the feasibility of applying remotely sensed data to water quality assessment. The experience and technology developed at JPL has now been coalesced into an interactive lake survey program.