UK legislation provides a need to monitor large reservoirs and their associated dams to detect for any possibility of dam failure and flooding. The monitoring itself can be carried out dynamically in real-time by the use of strain gauges or at regular intervals by the use of high precision surveying equipment.
A typical dam may be surveyed every six months or annually. A compendium of results is maintained and a trend of settlement is established. If any movement of the dam is detected that is greater than the predicted amount, immediate steps can be taken to investigate the causes and/or carry out remedial work.