As part of a five-year U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service project, an American-made drone called Goose has been flying over Oklahoma dams, capturing images of the dams and their surroundings to create 3-D models that can be analyzed to determine potential safety issues. (Photo by OSU Agricultural Communications Services.)

One year into a five-year project to improve dam infrastructure, scientists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service and the Oklahoma Water Resources Center are adding some high-quality technology to their tool bag.

Dams age and wear down over time just as buildings and roads do, and nearly 12,000 of the 22,000 dams in the U.S. are reaching the end of their planned life spans.

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