Pictures from space could help flood fighters on the ground in Manitoba.

The Canadian Space Agency has awarded a grant to University of Winnipeg geography professor Joni Storie, who will study radar images that could allow flood forecasters to identify where flood waters naturally pool.

Radar images already help flood experts understand the extent of flooding, but determining where water naturally pools can help flood fighters minimize damage from flood waters, Storie said.

"This type of imagery that we acquire from the Canadian satellite has the ability to extract a lot of different types of information. I expect that we're going to be able to find these areas that will show an accumulation of water," she said.

The floodwater can then be drained to areas where it will do less damage, sparing valuable residential or agricultural land.

"You can put the water in a temporary storage location so that other places … are protected and they're not being flooded," Storie said. 

Manitoba's first flood forecast of the year will be released Wednesday afternoon.