J-K joining hands with UK Space Agency programme for impact based flood forecast

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Jammu: In a significant move to put impact based flood forecasting mechanism in place, the Union Territory of J&K is joining hands with UK Space Agency’s programme for collaborative project on ‘Impact Based Flood Forecasting using Earth Observation (EO) based Information’.

Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha termed it as the next step of flood forecasting services, adding “impact based forcasts of flood risk will be useful for efficient, effective contingency planning and swift evaluation of severity for necessary response”.

Pointing out that international collaboration adds specific value in helping analyze past flood events and identifying relationships between predicted floods and their impact, he said the mechanism will predict impacts to people, their houses, crops, livestock, and transport routes, thereby mitigating many of the challenges people face during flood events.

A recent report has put India among the 10 most disaster prone countries in the world and ranked floods as a climate related hazard posing the greatest risk to the people. India has numerous flood forecasting systems that provide predictions of water levels and flows but not their impact in terms of loss of life, damage to buildings, critical infrastructure and agriculture.

In J&K, there is no effective impact based flood forecasting mechanism in place as such, an official statement here said. It is a big initiative taken by UT’s Lt Governor and it will help to predict fluvial flood risks, in terms of expected loss to life, injuries to people, building collapse, infrastructure disruption, and economic damage, it added. The framework will be capable of being linked to any existing or future flood flow forecasting system and the UT Government will not have to bear any expenses on the project, it said.

The National Space Innovation Programme (NSIP) is a new programme established by the UK Space Agency which supports collaborative projects between UK organisations and international partners. The project will be undertaken by HR Wallingford in collaboration with Oxford University, Sayers & Partners (SPL), and D-Orbit (UK), statement added.