Dam Reopens & Drone Permit

Dam Reopens & Drone Permit

Dam Reopens & Drone Permit. I'm Greg Martin with today's Northwest Report.

The Wanapum Dam reopened yesterday. The dam, located in Washington's Grant County was found to have a crack in at last year forcing a major drawdown in water levels which impacted irrigation to many farming communities in East Central Washington. Working in conjunction with other hydroelectric operators on the Columbia River, Grant PUD began raising the reservoir on Nov. 25 and finished on Dec. 1. After a thorough evaluation, the utility will restore public access to most of the shoreline. Even though the dam is open again a number of recreation sites on the reservoirs remain closed.

The big holdup for utilizing drones in ag operation has been the Federal Aviation Administration. Now, the FAA has granted use. The Ag Network's David Sparks has more.

SPARKS: The FAA has issued permits allowing the use of drones to monitor crops and photograph properties for sale This marks the first time permission has been granted to companies involved in agriculture and real estate. The permits were granted to Advanced Aviation Solutions in Star, Idaho, for "crop scouting," and a real estate firm in Arizona. Advanced Aviation Solutions intends to use a 1.5-pound, fixed-wing eBee drone to make photographic measurements of farm fields, determine the health of crops and look for pests.

Thanks David. The hope is sensors on the drone can help determine which fields need watering.

That's today's Northwest Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network of the West.

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