Although new technologies and engineering approaches are enabling better monitoring of dam structures, not all monitoring solutions are the same. According to Daniel Turnbull, Dam Safety Engineer at the New South Wales-based Hunter Water, dam owners need to focus on those tools that can give the earliest possible indications of potential problems across the whole expanse of any structure and across every asset in their dam portfolio. This enables dam safety leaders to focus on data-led resource deployment while making the most of skilled staff and expertise, even when managing the biggest structures. “Dams are very large assets. That’s one of the big challenges we face, making sure that our monitoring is targeted and effective,” says Daniel.
Ultimately, geospatial AI supplements other technologies such as in-situ sensors and physical inspection observations to build a complete picture of dam risk and with capabilities that far exceed traditional dam monitoring methods.