This paper presents initial results of a hydrological study and flood assessment of the River Fani catchment in the Mirdita region in the north of Albania. Special attention is paid to Rubik town and its immediate surroundings. In the study multi-source and multi-scale data (published topographic and geological maps and various remote sensing sensors such as the Landsat series, MODIS and ASTER) are used to develop a GIS decision support system that uses hydrological inputs from various hydrological modelling packages - particularly WMS. The GIS is not only used as a link and management system between various data layers and hydrologic model outputs but also as modelling tool itself in an attempt to provide solutions to various catchment conservation issues, and flood prevention and control measure for Rubik town.
Preliminary results of change detection analysis using satellite images show high levels of reduced vegetation and increased urbanisation from 1984 to 2000. Changes in the River Fani channel morphology are mapped and analysed to areas of severe erosion, landslides and high flood risks.
It is concluded that remote sensing and GIS, when used creatively, provide powerful tools for overcoming the hydrological data challenge faced by hydrologists working on remote catchments with little or no structured conventional data acquisition system.