Climate change causing increase in rainfall in city

Urban devpt bodies in Hyderabad need to gear up to tackle urban flooding, which will get worse in the coming years, owing to climate change.

Published: 19th March 2017 06:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th March 2017 06:02 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: The frequency of high intensity rainfall causing floods in the city, like it happened last year is increasing and will continue to increase, reports a study conducted by researchers from National Institute of Technology-Warangal.

In a paper published recently, the researchers also reported that not just frequency of the sudden downpours, but over the years the intensity will also increase sharply.

Seriousness of the issue can be gauged from the fact that as per the NIT study, there is a chance that once in two years there will be rainfall measuring 42.85 millimeter per hour(mm/hr), which can go up to 43.61 mm/hr.

The storm water drains in Hyderabad have been designed to handle just 12 mm/hr rainfall, which means that there is a chance that at least once in two years there will be situation of floods due to extreme rainfall in Hyderabad.

Larger study on urban flooding being conducted
The study was published by NIT researchers as part of a larger study on urban floods funded by IT Research Academy under Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

In other two studies published by the researchers, they reported that there has been 60 per cent increase in El Nino effect on very extreme rainfall during non-monsoon months in Hyderabad city and that the rainfall in June-August months in Hyderabad is following steep increasing trend. Since 1970, the extreme rainfall occurring over Hyderabad is also increasing.

“The frequency of high intensity rainfall has been increasing in Hyderabad due to climate change. It has also been observed that apart from frequency the intensity of rainfall is also increasing. There has been a change in rainfall pattern as well.

We have observed that rains are occurring more towards evening unlike earlier when they used to occur uniformly across the day,” Dr NV Umamahesh of the Department of Civil Engineering at NIT-Warangal and one of the researchers said.

Lack of enough support from Telangana government
The Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre has helped Indian Institute of Science. Bangalore in its study on urban flooding by installing hundreds of rain gauges across the state, including close to one hundred in Bengaluru itself. This has boosted the research work on urban floods being conducted in IISc.

Support from government authorities in Telangana has not been forthcoming like in Karnataka. Dr Umamahesh says that for accurate designing of the urban floods predicting model they will need more rainfall data for which at least 40-50 rain gauges are required to be installed in Hyderabad.

“It would be great if the government authorities in Telangana help us in similar manner how IISc got support in Karnataka,” he says.

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