This study focuses on the analysis of the Landsat-5 TM + SPOT-Pan (1992), IRS-1C/D LISS + Pan (2000), and Landsat-5 TM (2006) satellite images that reflect the drastic land use/land cover changes in the Kucukcekmece Lake region, Istanbul. Landsat-5 TM satellite data dated 2006 was used for mapping water quality. A multiple regression analysis was carried out between the unitless planetary reflectance values derived from the satellite image and in situ water quality parameters chlorophyll a, total phosphorus, total nitrogen, turbidity, and biological and chemical oxygen demand measured at a number of stations homogenously distributed over the lake surface. The results of this study provided valuable information to local administrators on the water quality of Kucukcekmece Lake, which is a large water resource of the Istanbul Metropolitan Area. Results also show that such a methodology structured by use of reflectance values provided from satellite imagery, in situ water quality measurements, and basin land use/land cover characteristics obtained from images can serve as a powerful and rapid monitoring tool for the drinking water basins that suffer from rapid urbanization and pollution, all around the world.