Water management is very important in water mining regions for the sustainability of the natural environment and for industrial activities. This study focused on Acigol Lake, which is an important wetland for sodium sulphate (Na2SO4) production, a significant natural protection area and habitat for local bird species and endemic species of this saline environment, and a stopover for migrating flamingos. By a hierarchical classification method, ponds representing the industrial part were classified according to in-situ measured Baume values, and lake water representing the natural part was classified according to in-situ measurements of water depth. The latter is directly related to the water level, which should not exceed a critical level determined by the regulatory authorities. The resulting data, produced at an accuracy of around 80%, illustrates the status in two main regions for a single date. The output of the analysis may be meaningful for firms and environmental researchers, and authorizations can provide a good perspective for decision making for sustainable resource management in the region which has uncommon and specific ecological characteristics. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.