Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Shri Nitin Gadkari has expressed hope that collaboration with Google will help in effective flood management in India. Central Water Commission (CWC), India’s apex technical organization in the field of Water Resources, has entered into a Collaboration Agreement with Google. CWC would use state-of-the-art advances made by Google in the field of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and geospatial mapping for effective management of water resources particularly in the field of flood forecasting and dissemination of flood-related information to the masses widely using the dissemination platforms developed by Google. This initiative is likely to help crisis management agencies to deal with extreme hydrological events in a better manner.
The Ministry had earlier launched an ambitious programme ‘National Hydrology Project’ (NHP) during the year 2016-17. NHP is a World Bank assisted central sector scheme with pan India coverage. The objective of National Hydrology Project is to improve the extent, quality, and accessibility of water resources information, decision support system for floods and basin level resource assessment/planning and to strengthen the capacity of targeted water resources professionals and management institutions in India.
Under this Agreement:
CWC and Google will share technical expertise in the fields of artificial intelligence, machine learning, geospatial mapping and analysis of hydrological observation data to collaborate on:
Improving flood prediction systems, which will help provide location-targeted, actionable flood warnings.
High priority research project utilizing Google Earth Engine to help visualize and improve flood management.
A cultural project to build online exhibitions on the Rivers of India.
The collaborative arrangement is likely to result in saving of crore of rupees which otherwise would have to be spent by the government on acquiring high-resolution DEM, high-end computational resources and developing dissemination platforms widely used by the masses.
This would enable the Government as well as disaster management organisations to identify well in advance the locations and population, which are at risk from floods and require warnings and information.
This collaborative initiative is expected to be a milestone in flood management and in mitigating the flood losses.
About Central Water Commission:
Central Water Commission is a premier Technical Organization of India in the field of Water Resources and is presently functioning as an attached office of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India.
The Commission is entrusted with the general responsibilities of initiating, coordinating and furthering in consultation of the State Governments concerned, schemes for control, conservation and utilization of water resources throughout the country, for purpose of Flood Control, Irrigation, Navigation, Drinking Water Supply and Water Power Development. It also undertakes the investigations, construction and execution of any such schemes as required.