Summary: This paper proposes a new type of layered video coding especially for the use of monitoring water level of a river. A sensor node of the system decomposes an input video signal into some kinds of component signals and produces a bit stream functionally separated into three layers. The first layer contains the minimum components effective for detecting the water level. It is transmitted at very low bit rate for regular monitoring. The second layer contains signals for thumb-nail video browsing. The third layer contains additional data for decoding the original video signal. These are transmitted in case of necessity. A video signal is decomposed into several bands with the three dimensional Haar transform. In this paper, optimum bands to be contained into the 1st layer are experimentally investigated considering both of water level detection and data size to be transmitted. As a result, bit rate for transmitting the first layer is reduced by 32.5% at the cost of negligible 3.7% decrease of recognition performance for one of video examples.