The technique is a "forward" calculation that tries to use the inherent optical properties of the water to calculate what the water does to the light passing through it. It tries to estimate those optical properties by using pictures at various distances so as to "calibrate" the estimates.
Conversely, when we photographers "white balance" something, we do the "inverse" problem, not the "forward" problem. We pick something in our single image that we know to be "white" or "neutral gray" and force it to be white or gray in our image; so we are not calculating what the water does to our image, we are forcing the final result to be "correct."
In principle, if everything in our image were the same distance from the camera, we should get the same result as a correctly-done forward calculation. But our image has things at various distances from the camera, so we ought to have a white-balance methodology that is different for each part of the image...each pixel, in fact. then we would converge to the fancy forward solution, except probably better, because the inherent optical properties are not all know, they change with time and depth, and the calculations are difficult.