Nowadays, there is an increasing demand of fresh water in a global context, due to water distribution canals are becoming more relevant as far as operation and maintenance activities are concerned. The appearance of small leakages in these distributing canals during its operation commonly gives rise to severe structural damages, which complicates the overall lifecycle management.

Currently, the entities in charge of managing this type of infrastructure, at national or international level, approach inspection activities of this infrastructure essentially with visual aids, and mainly when water distribution canals are empty for maintenance reasons.

The existing limitations of visual inspections couple with the range causes that can lead in failures in this kind of infrastructure makes suggests visual inspections should be complemented and supported with other potential techniques that will capture more than human visual capacity and therefore to be capable of analysing the characteristics of the ground and the hydraulic structure itself for early detection of anomalies such as leakages and cavities.

Although there is some degree of development in these techniques, their application in water distribution canals for water resource exploitation is not addressed and neither its integration with other interesting techniques that will allow to identify in a simple, effective, safe and fast way the appearance of fractures in hydraulic infrastructure of interest for IBERDROLA GENERACION or other water resource management entity.

The project aims at researching and developing a new methodology to carry out efficient inspections of water distribution canals by researching and developing techniques that will allow to analyse the material properties of the ground and the hydraulic structure itself for early detection of anomalies. This goal will ensure the structural integrity of the water canals, decrease the hydrological impact of hydropower plants and improve the maintenance and operation of IBERDROLA GENERACION’s hydro assets.