NEW DELHI: With massive floods in Tamil Nadu, the Central Water Commission (CWC) has decided to set up flood forecasting stations for the first time in the coastal states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, along with Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Sikkim to improve forecast for such events.
The CWC under the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation will set up 40 flood forecasting stations for the first time in the states of Arunachal Pradesh (3), Himachal Pradesh (1), Kerala (2), Rajasthan (12), Sikkim (8) and Tamil Nadu (14) during the current five year plan.
Besides, 60 more flood forecasting stations will be set up in other states already having flood forecasting stations to cover their uncovered areas. The CWC has been entrusted with the job of flood forecasting in India and a network of 878 stations on key rivers and their tributaries has been set up.
At present, flood forecasts are issued for 176 stations (148 level forecast and 28 inflow forecast) using hydrological data from its own network and Quantitative Precipitation Forecast (QPF) received from Flood Metrological Organization (FMO) of India Metrological Department (IMD).
The existing forecasting network of CWC covers 19 states/UTs/NCT, 10 major river basins and 72 sub-basins. So far, 445 stations have been modernised with automatic data collection and transmission systems.
“Mathematical models on rivers Jhelum, Alaknanda, Bhagirathi, Ganga, Brahmaputra, Yamuna, Chambal, Baitarani, Vamsadhara, Subarnarekha, Mahanadi, Tapi, Godavari and Krishna have been developed. The forecast is disseminated using the email, SMS and website facilities,” said a senior CWC official.
The modernisation of the network includes installation of automatic sensor based data collection and satellite based data transmission systems for near real time flood forecasting and development of medium range hydrologic and hydraulic models with a warning time of up to 72 hours using one dimensional mathematical modeling tools, for effective flood forecasting.
The ministry had launched a flood forecasting website, e-Surface Water Information System during the 2014 floods, which facilitated timely forecast dissemination through email/SMS.
“The trends of river water levels at the forecasting stations of the network during the last 72 hours are also made available to the general public at the web portal. Flood-warning messages are also disseminated using Common Alerting Protocol of Google,” said the official.