The Union cabinet on Wednesday gave the green signal to the National Hydrology Project (NHP) and establishment of a National Water Informatics Centre (NWIC) with a total outlay of Rs.3,679.76 crore for better flood and drought forecast.
The NHP is intended for setting up a system for timely and reliable water resources data acquisition, storage, collation and management.
The system would improve the flood forecast time to at least three days in advance from one day at present.
It will also provide systems for informed decision making through Decision Support Systems (DSS) for water resources assessment, flood management, reservoir operations, drought management, etc.
"The NHP will result in the improvement of data storage, exchange, analysis and dissemination through NWIC. The data can be accessed by any user at the state/district/village level," an official informed.
"The automated systems for flood forecasting is aimed to reduce water disaster ultimately helping vulnerable population. It is people and farmer centric programme as information on water can help in predicting water availability and help farmers to plan their crops and other farm related activities," the official added.
Besides, the system would help map the flood inundated areas for use by the disaster management authorities.
The NHP will lead to better assessment of surface and ground water resources in a river basin for better planning and allocation of resources, improve reservoir operations through seasonal yield forecast and improve drought management, the official said.
Of the total outlay of Rs.3,679.76 crore, Rs.3,640 crore has been earmarked for National Hydrology Project while Rs.39.7674 crore has been kept aside for NWIC.
Out of the total outlay, 50 percent of the amount would be World Bank loan which would be repaid by the Central government. The remaining amount would be central assistance from the budgetary support.