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In this paper we present an application of statistical pattern recognition methods to the analysis of air photographs in order to evaluate the vegetation cover in a Pilica River catchment (Central Poland). The analysis is a basis for using plants to improving water quality and increasing its availability. The task for the image processing and analysis system is to recognize in the air picture the regions of different vegetation forms and water containers, and evaluate their area. The most difficult problem from the point of image processing is segmentation due to altering the color of vegetation forms. An automatic image analysis is intended to replace geodetic measurements.