Italy's Infamous Vajont Dam
Contributor Daniele Bolgia created this memorable drone video of a famous but never-used dam in northern Italy. Vajont Dam was constructed in the 1950's as a means to harness the Vajont River in the Veneto region. In October, 1963, as its reservoir was being filled, a massive landslide into the lake caused a giant wave of water to come pouring over its wall, the tallest in the world at the time. The resulting "tsunami" killed almost 2,000 people, making it one of history's worst dam accidents.
Roosevelt Dam in the Southwestern USA
The Theodore Roosevelt Dam is located in Arizona, in the Southwestern USA. The dam, which is primarily for irrigation and flood control, was built in the early 1900's. With a height of over 100 meters (350 ft), the spillway moves up to 4,300 cubic meters of water (150k cu ft) per second. Contributor RusselKriz85 used a drone to create this amazing aerial video of the structure, which is a protected landmark.
Giant Dam in Brazil's Sao Paulo State
Blessed with massive rivers, the huge and largely industrialized country of Brazil relies on hydropower for an astounding three quarters of its electricity supply. That's more than any other major country. Giant hydropower projects on major rivers represent some of the most important infrastructure in the country. In this video, contributor Sparkers used a drone to aerially film one of these projects, the Represa Itupararanga Votorantim dam in the state of Sao Paulo.
The UAE's Hatta Dam
Hatta is an area in the interior of the United Arab Emirates, about 135 km (90 mi) from the city of Dubai. Situated in some small mountains, Hatta is usually considerably cooler than the city, and water is plentiful. In the 1990's Hatta Dam was created to provide hydroelectric power to the area. Top contributor Joe Images used a drone to create this amazing aerial view of the dam and the reservoir created by it.
Switzerland: Châtelot's Dam
The Châtelot's dam is located on the Doubs river, between France and Switzerland. It was inaugurated in 1953. It is 74m (~243ft) high and 150m (~492ft) wide. It holds 20 millions cubic meters of water and provides 10% of the power consumption of Neuchâtel, one of the cantons which makes up northwestern Switzerland. Contributor AbovetheClouds used a DJI Phantom 4 Professional drone to create this amazing aerial video of the dam structure.
The USA's Cape Cod Canal
The 11 km long (7 mi) Cape Cod Canal separates Cape Cod from "mainland" Massachusetts. By allowing ships to pass between Cape Cod Bay and Buzzard's Bay, the canal greatly reduced the shipping distance between (for example) Boston and New York City. It was completed in 1916. Top contributor PO3SMITH used a drone to give us a bird's eye view of the Cape Cod Canal Railroad Bridge, one of three which cross it, built as a Public Works Administration project during the Depression.
The Panama Canal
When it was opened in 1912, the Panama Canal represented one of the great feats of engineering up to that time. Its original size limited its ability to handle the most modern ships. It is currently in the process of being widened to accommodate bigger vessels. The 80 km (50 mi) waterway hacked out of the Panama Jungle connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. In this video, a drone gives us an aerial view of two cruise ships using the locks in the canal to cross it.
Australia's Cotter Dam
Australia's Cotter Dam was vital to the construction of its capital city Canberra. The dam was built not for electricity generation but to serve as a critical source of freshwater needed to make Canberra, a compromise choice, the permanent capital of Australia when it became an independent country in the early 1900's (after an interim period when Melbourne was the capital). Matteo Pictures used a drone to create this spectacular aerial view of this gravity dam in southeastern Australia.
Shongweni Dam, South Africa
Shongweni Dam is located in eastern South Africa, near the city of Durban. Situated on the Sterkspruit and Wekeweke Rivers, it provides hydroelectricity as well as agricultural irrigation to Durban (the country's third largest city by population) and the surrounding areas. The reservoir created by the dam is popular with kayakers and others seeking outdoor recreation in the area. Contributor AV8 Africa used a drone to fly over the dam and reservoir, giving us a great bird's eye view of this South African landmark.
Devil's Gate Dam, Tasmania
The Devils Gate Dam is a part of the Mersey-Forth Hydro Scheme which flows down from the highlands to the ocean in northern Tasmania, the island state of Australia. Mersey-Forth draws from four separate rivers and runs seven power stations. Contributor FergTas was fortunate to be near the dam when there was visible mist rising from the dam spillway. Using his drone he created this amazing aerial video of this major hydropower project with double rainbows in the background.
England's Burrator Dam
Not all dams provide electricity; many of these structures are built for flood control or to provide drinking or irrigation water. Case in point is Burrator Dam, in County Devon in southwestern England. It's actually a system of two dams, with Burrator being the largest. Situated on the River Meavey, the dam was completed in 1898 primarily to supply drinking water to the region. In this video, you'll get a bird's eye view of this prominent structure, courtesy of contributor Flying Horizons.
Verzasca Dam, Switzerland
Verzasca Dam, also known as the Contra Dam, is built on the Verzasca River near the town of Ticino in Switzerland. Built in the 1960's, it was the scene of one of the all-time great movie stunt scenes: the opening of the 1995 James Bond movie Golden Eye. In the film (#19 in the series), a stuntman standing in for Pierce Brosnan (who plays 007) bungee-jumps off the dam's wall . Get a bird's eye view of this iconic spot compliments of contributor and drone pilot IamSandi_Official.
Emosson Dam, Switzerland
Wjmdronie used a DJI Phantom 4 drone to create this epic aerial view of a well known dam in Switzerland. Émosson Dam is situated in the Valais canton, very close to the French border. It was completed in 1974, after a seven year construction period. The dam is powered by runoff from several glaciers in the Swiss Alps, which are channeled to the dam through a valley. The dam necessitated a Swiss/French land exchange to keep it entirely on Swiss territory.
The Canals of Xochimilco, Mexico
Award winning contributyor Postandfly created this spectacular drone video of a side to Mexico City most never knew existed. Xochimilco is a southern borough of the Federal District, the city's metropolitan administrative region. Located south of the core city center, Xochimilco began its life as an independent Aztec city, known for a vast network of canals. With the growth of the capital city, it became essentially a vast suburb of Mexico City, yet one which has a highly distinctive and visually appealing look.
Turkey's Shamiram Canal
Among the many historical treasures of Eastern Turkey is the Shamiram Canal, which was once also known as the Menua Canal. Located a short distance to the east of the provincial capital Van, the canal predates the Roman aquaducts by centuries. It was constructed in the 8th century BC on the orders of the king of Uartu, an ancient kingdom in what is now the region of Eastern Anatolia. Contributor Skaty brings us this marvelous aerial view of this marvel of early hydro-engineering.
Romania's Vidaru Dam
Check out this drone video of Romania's gigantic Vidraru Dam, compliments of contributor Guydrory. The dam on the Argeș River in Transylvania was completed in 1966. It has a height of just over 160 meters (around 550 ft.) With a capacity of 220 MW, the dam generates over 400 GW per year, a bit less than 1% of Romania's total electricity demand. The dam took about five years to build, in the process of which nearby Lake Vidaru was created as a reservoir.
The Canals of Venice, California
One look at this drone video from Skybounddrones will tell you where the city of Venice, California got its name. The town was built by millionaire Abbot Kinney in the early 1900's, who bought a stretch of coastline south of Santa Monica and decided to call it Venice in recognition of the canals which were needed to drain its marshes and make it habitable. Today, it's one of the most fashionable spots along the line of beach communities referred to as Silicon Beach.
Germany's Urft Dam
Sebastian Ferguson used a DJI Mavic Pro drone to create this aerial video of an important dam in Western Germany. The Urft Dam is situated on the river of the same name in the state of North Rhine Westphalia. Built in 1905, the gravity dam has a height of just under 60 meters (around 200 ft.). The dam provides a modest amount of hydropower but was built mainly for water management. It was, briefly, the tallest in Europe until the construction of Bober Dam in Silesia in 1912.
South Korea's Ara Canal
Check out this drone video of a major new canal in South Korea, compliments of FLYKOREA. The Ara Canal connects the Han River to the Yellow Sea on the western side of the Korean Peninsula. It runs between the Seo District of Incheon (South Korean's third largest city and part of Greater Seoul) to the Seo District of Seoul. Completed in 2012, the dam was built both to provide outdoor leisure opportunities as well as for flood control.
Romania's Bicaz Dam
Contributor Catchuppy gives us a bird's eye view of Bicaz Lake and Dam in the Moldavia region of northeastern Romania. The dam was completed during the Communist era in the 1950's. It created Bicaz Lake, the largest artificial lake in the country. The dam has a height of just over 127 meters (almost 400 ft.), making it one of the tallest dams in Eastern or Southeastern Europe. The dam has installed capacity of just over 200MW and generates about 500MW of power per year.
Wellington Dam, Western Australia
In this drone video, contributor DodgeyJess does a great job of aerially capturing one of the largest hydroelectric dams in Australia. The Wellington Dam Hydro Power Station is located near the town of Collie, near the southwestern corner of the country. Situated about a two hour drive south of the Western Australia state capital of Perth, the power station was built in the 1950's. Fed by the Collie River, it's the second largest hydro generator in the state of WA.