Automatic water-body extraction from remote sensing images is a challenging problem. In this paper, a novel automatic water-body extraction technique is proposed for optical visible remote sensing images. It integrates image segmentation, image registration and change detection with GIS data as a whole process. A new iterative segmentation and registration strategy is also proposed. A multi-scale visual attention model is introduced to detect salient areas and a level-set segmentation algorithm is employed for image segmentation. An improved shape curve similarity (ISCS) method is presented to constrain the matching of image segmentation objects and GIS-identified water-bodies. Furthermore, a buffer-based change detection algorithm was designed to obtain unchanged water-bodies and non-water objects were eliminated with the aid of GIS data and spectral features. Experiments were carried out on three sets of data.Results show that the proposed method was effective in rapid water body extraction and change detection.