National Hydrology Project Current Affairs - 2019
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Central Water Commission (CWC) has signed collaboration agreement with search engine giant Google for flood forecasting and dissemination of flood related information to masses. This initiative will help crisis management agencies to deal extreme hydrological events in better manner for effective flood management in India under National Hydrology Project (NHP).
Under this collaboration, CWC will use state-of-the-art technological advances made by Google in field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning and geo-spatial mapping for effective management of water resources particularly in the field of flood forecasting and dissemination of flood related information to masses widely using dissemination platforms developed by Google. Under this Agreement, CWC and Google will share technical expertise to collaborate on
- Improving flood prediction systems, which will help provide location-targeted, actionable flood warnings,
- High priority research project utilizing Google Earth to help visualize and improve flood management.
- Cultural project to build online exhibitions on Rivers of India.
Under this collaborative arrangement, Google will use high resolution Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and vast computational resources and its technological expertise to generate flood inundation maps utilising level forecast input provided by CWC. This information will be disseminated with lead time of up to 3 days. The inundation forecasting will be done trial basis for flood season of 2018 and it will be scaled up in near future.
The collaborative arrangement will save of crore of rupees which would have been spent by government on acquiring high resolution DEM, high end computational resources and developing dissemination platforms widely used by masses.
This would enable Government as well as disaster management organisations to identify well in advance locations and population, which are at risk from floods and require warnings and information. This initiative is expected to be milestone in flood management and in mitigating the flood losses.
Central Water Commission (CWC)
CWC is India’s apex technical organization in field of water resources functioning under Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. It is mandated for initiating, coordinating in consultation of State Governments, schemes for control, utilization and conservation of water resources throughout the country. These schemes are meant for purpose of flood control, irrigation, navigation, drinking water supply and water power development. It is
National Hydrology Project (NHP)
NHP was launched by Ministry of Water Resources in 2016-17. It is World Bank assisted central sector scheme with pan India coverage. Its objective is to improve extent, quality and accessibility of water resources information, decision support system for floods and basin level resource assessment and planning and to strengthen capacity of targeted water resources professionals and management institutions in India.
The World Bank has approved $175 million for India’s ambitious National Hydrology Project to improve its ability to forecast floods and reduce vulnerability to recurring floods and droughts.
The loan has been issued from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) with maturity of 23 years. It also has a six-year grace period in which no interest payments will be due.
About National Hydrology Project (NHP)
- NHP was approved by the Union cabinet in April 2016 as a central sector scheme with a total outlay of Rs 3679 crore. Later it was approved by the World Bank Board.
- Of the total fund, Rs 3,640 crore will be spent for the national project, remaining Rs 39 crore will be used to establish National Water Informatics Centre (NWIC) as a repository of nation-wide water resources data.
- It aims at improving extent, quality, and accessibility of water resources information, decision support system for floods and basin level resource planning and strengthen capacity of institutions in India.
- It is expected to take forward the success of the Hydrology Project-I and Hydrology Project-II by covering the entire country, including the states along the Ganga and Brahmaputra-Barak basins.
- Earlier Project-I and Project-II were limited only to large river systems viz. Krishna and Satluj-Beas. They had established real-time flood forecast systems to give reservoir managers an accurate picture of the water situation in their region.
- The early forecast had increased the time available for early flood warnings and improved flood management preparation from hours to days, saving hundreds of lives and avoided flood damages of $65 million a year.
Potential Advantages NHP
- It will strengthen the capacity of existing institutions to assess the water situation and equip them with real-time flood forecast systems across the country.
- It will help the states monitor all the important aspects of the hydro-meteorological cycle and adopt the procedures laid out in the earlier projects.
- It will help communities to plan in advance to build resilience against flooding and droughts due to uncertainties of climate change
- It will reduce the vulnerability of many regions to recurring floods and droughts as absence of real-time ground information for the entire country creates difficulties in issuing alerts on time.