Mobile app soon for passing on information on water levels

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Hydrologists may soon be able to communicate water levels of river basins at the press of a cell phone button, with the Central Water Commission proposing a mobile application.

The application would ease the existing process of manually reading the water levels and communicating it to higher authorities.

Instead, hydrologists would have to just enter the water level measurements recorded on the gauges installed at the Hydrological Observation Sites in river basins or click a picture of the reading on the gauge and send it through the mobile application directly to the central server which will be used by the concerned authorities for issuing flood forecast, Union Water Resource Ministry sources said.

“The mobile app would eliminate the communication barriers between the observation sites and Divisional Flood Control Rooms, where flood forecast bulletin is issued. It will also reduce the probability of errors, improving the efficiency,” CWC officials said.

CWC, functioning under the Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, has close to 900 Hydrological Observation Sites spread across different river basins in the country. Officers at the site record the water level reading on the gauge and communicate it to the Divisional Flood Control Rooms.

In turn, the Divisional Flood Control Rooms issue flood forecast taking various parameters into consideration, including inputs from the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). While, water levels are recorded thrice on normal days, its frequency increases to once every hour during the monsoon. The flood forecast bulletins are put out online for the public.

At times, sources said, problems are reported in communication between the observation sites and Divisional Flood Control Rooms, wherein the readings have to be taken two or three times for accuracy.

“The mobile app comes in handy under such circumstances, as we can ensure accuracy without losing time,” officials said.

Advance knowledge of incoming floods play an important role in reducing damage and better planning of rescue and relief operations. Flood forecasts help in optimum regulation of reservoirs with or without flood cushions in them.

CWC is also contemplating expanding the number of Hydrological Observation Sites by adding a few hundred more sites in the future.

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