Satellite artificial intelligence could help monitor Oklahoma’s high-risk dams


OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Dam maintenance is key to saving property and lives in Oklahoma, and the solution could be in space.

The Oklahoma Water Resources Board is bringing attention to how geospatial artificial intelligence could help maintain the state’s large number of dams, many of which are privately-owned.

As the rain falls, the Oklahoma Water Resources Board knows, the potential for danger rises with the water levels.

“Many, many people are unaware of the risk of living near those dams,” said Zachary Collinsworth with the Oklahoma Dam Safety Network.

Currently, the OWRB is regulating 115 high-hazard dams, and you may not know – 69% of Oklahoma’s dams are privately-owned.

“The important thing about that is those owners are directly responsible for maintenance and upgrades,” Collinsworth said. 

So, in comes companies like Rezatec – using satellite data to monitor changes to the dams and risk as they age and populations around them expand.

Rezatec uses geospatial artificial intelligence.

You may be asking – what is that?

You likely have to look no further than your phone.

“One of the biggest moments in geospatial technology was the launch of Google Maps,” said Camilla Braithwaite with Rezatec.

Just as Google Maps and Uber use geospatial A.I. to determine travel and arrival times, dam owners can use it to better monitor their property

“You can identify trends and anomalies that give a better understanding of what’s happening,” Braithwaite said. 

It’s customized to your needs. 

“It helps give an understanding of the normal baseline of a dam because every dam is different,” said Braithwaite.

Rezatec could not provide information on the costs of the use of the technology because it varies by property or properties.

However, representatives say it’s cost-effective compared to boots-on-the ground monitoring as it picks up on changes to the property that can’t be seen by the human eye.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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