Water Quality: Textile Factory Cluster Monitoring


February 17th, 2022


Written by


No comments

The Problem

The apparel and textile sectors are one of the major environmentally impactful industries. Their activities require significant amounts of water to produce clothing, consequently creating a large amount of pollution which negatively impacts the environment and human health. Furthermore, these sectors suffer from a lack of environmental awareness, transparency, and real time data. This is largely due to their complex supply chains and processes, whereby a single fashion brand could have hundreds of different suppliers all around the world. However, these factories at different tiers (key processing stages through the supply chain) are usually clustered at specific geographic locations that are specialised in different parts of the manufacturing process such as dying or washing processes.


Our Solution 

GlobalTrust aims to drive the fashion industry towards more sustainable practices across their supply chains through a holistic space-based technical solution. We provide a water quality monitoring service for our clients using the latest satellite imagery and analytical techniques. This contributes to increased transparency and traceability of water quality impacts for fashion brands, supports the transition to a responsible and climate-smart fashion industry, and provides independent and reliable data insights for informed decision making for consumers and civil society.   

The image above shows turbidity change caused by localised industrial activity. Using a turbidity index across the data makes it possible to numerically map the change in sediment load across chosen time frames and subsequently plot the data in a graph. 

Another water quality parameter is the presence of chlorophyll-a, which GlobalTrust monitors to determine the health of water bodies. Using satellite multispectral data, it is possible to estimate the quantity of chlorophyll and metrics such as imbalance of nutrient levels. We can then create an automatic alert system to identify the presence of a eutrophic lake, or where concentrations go over a certain threshold. We use a number or water quality parameters to identify environmental damage and pollution in water bodies connected to different industrial activities. These include: 

  • Water turbidity 
  • Chlorophyll-a 
  • Total suspended solids 
  • Water extent 
  • Colour changes of water 
  • pH (proxy) 
  • Algae bloom