Public, farmers can get flood forecast on mobile phones

Public, farmers can get flood forecast on mobile phones

Public, farmers can get flood forecast on mobile phones

Four years from now, people will get flood alerts on their mobile phones, if the Centre successfully implements the National Hydrology Project on time.  

The Ministry of Water Resources began the execution of its ambitious National Hydrology Project (NHP) programme, which aims to  provide real­-time flood forecasts for the public as well as disseminate water data information for the farmers to help them plan their cropping pattern in a better way.

The first stage of the multi-purpose NHP, which has an outlay of over Rs 3,679 crore, will be implemented in 2016-2020, and the second stage will be executed between 2021 and 2024, covering the entire country.

According to the scheme, an independent agency, National Water Informatics Centre, under the Ministry of Water Resources, will collect all water-related data using various information systems and technologies, including remote-sensing.

The government plans to use the data to increase the lead time in flood forecasting from one to at least three days and assess map flood inundation areas and surface and groundwater resources in a river basin for better planning. 

The idea behind it is to integrate all information about water in the country, be it rivers, dams, reservoirs, surface water or groundwater, and then plan its management and usage, said an official from the Water Resources Ministry.

“The project will help in the development of real­-time flood forecasting and reservoir operations in a manner that does not result in the sudden opening of gates leading to the inundation of the areas below,” said an official.

In case of a flood or opening of reservoir gates, the government can disseminate the information via SMS or various media, which will help people move to safer places.

The project will help in the gathering of hydro-­meteorological data, which will be stored and analysed and seamlessly accessed by any user, the official said.