Pollution be dammed!

The UK has announced it will help developing countries tackle disaster relief, waste management and disease control using space expertise and technologies. One such project is the UK Space Agency’s […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

The UK has announced it will help developing countries tackle disaster relief, waste management and disease control using space expertise and technologies.

One such project is the UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme, which plans to use remote sensing data to minimise the risk of tailings dams failures in Peru.

Tailing dams are banks of earth more than 100 metres high used to store toxic mine waste, sewage and effluent.

Due to poor design, weak regulations and weaker construction than seen in normal water-retaining dams, they are prone to failure – if they burst or leak, large parts of the environment can be polluted.

The £2.7 million project will use satellite technologies to allow for more effective monitoring of the dams to spot possible failures before they happen.