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National Hydrology Data Soon
Jan 04, 2015

With flood damage in the country pegged in the range of Rs. 6,000 crore a year, according to official estimates, India is poised to adopt a World Bank-funded hydrology project. Such a project has already made a difference in 13 States which opted for it in the earlier two phases.

Under the proposed expansion of the project, States will be able to generate and digitise their own data without waiting for central help. The project for the whole country is estimated to cost Rs. 3,000 crore.

The project, the first phase of which began some 20 years back, has digitised real time data in 13 States. Some of the main reasons for floods are poor reservoir management systems as was witnessed some years ago in Western Maharashtra. Farmers sometimes face problems as they plant crops without knowing if there is assured water from reservoirs.

There is no reliable hydrological data and some of the figures are as old as 1993. The project, in partnership with the Union Water Resources Ministry and other agencies, was aimed at developing monitoring systems in the States. The use of such data on water storage and availability is unlimited and can be used in Decision Support System (DSS). The project has completed two phases and established the basis for a Hydrological Information System (HIS) for reliable records.

The project gives data which can help release of water from reservoirs and prevent untimely floods. The operating costs have gone down by half due to advance knowledge of water availability, rainfall and even water quality..

Apart from flood prevention, the data and real time monitoring of water flows also helps in analysing and testing proposed projects. As part of the project, water quality stations have been set up in the Ganga river at 10 locations from Rishikesh to Kolkata. The Rs. 550-crore project in two phases which is complete, is a loan to the government of India and aimed at a complete standardised centralised water data system. (Source: The Hindu)

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