Government To Team Up With Google For Flood Forecasting

Central Water Commission (CWC), India’s apex technical organization in the field of Water Resources, has entered into a Collaboration Agreement with Google. This initiative is likely to help crisis management agencies to deal extreme hydrological events   in a better manner.

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

(i) improving flood prediction systems, which will help provide location-targeted, actionable flood warnings,

(ii)  high priority research project utilizing Google Earth Engine to help visualize and improve flood management

(iii) a cultural project to build online exhibitions on the Rivers of India .

Under collaborative arrangement, Google would use high resolution Digital Elevation Model and vast computational resources and its expertise in the field of Artificial Intelligence to generate flood inundation maps utilising the level forecast input provided by CWC.

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. The initiative on flood forecasting is likely to meet the much awaited demand of the inhabitants of the flood prone areas for inundation warnings with sufficient lead time.

Till 2016, CWC was disseminating flood levels with maximum lead time  of one day. During the flood season of 2017, CWC resorted to rainfall based modelling and issued flood advisories on trial basis with 3 days lead time.