Mumbai second city in India to get state-of-the-art Integrated Flood Warning System
Bhushan Koyande

Right in time to welcome the rain, Mumbai, on Friday, became the second city in the nation, after Chennai, to get a state-of-the-art Integrated Flood Warning System (IFWS).

Several parts of the city are prone to flooding on receiving even moderate rainfall. The unique IFWS system will enable Mumbai to predict weather conditions three days in advance at the ward level. Alongside this, the system has the potential to predict 3 hours to 6 hours of nowcast (immediate weather updates) well in advance.

The system uses rain gauge data and local data, such as data on land use, land topography, drainage systems, water bodies in the city, tide levels, infrastructure and population, which has been provided by BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). Using these as inputs, the prediction system models weather, rainfall, runoff and water movement, tide and storm surge impacts, based on which early flood warnings for the city will be provided. It will address the flood inundation due to rainfall, river bank breach, storm surge, obstruction of flow due to roads, buildings, rail lines, high tides and sea level rise.

IFWS will also be handy, especially when people are required to be evacuated from low lying areas. Due to its ward-level efficiency, it will be able to forecast the amount of rainfall well in advance in any pocket of the city.

The unique system was inaugurated by Maharashtra Chief Minister, Uddhav Thackeray along with Union Minister of Earth Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan through video conferencing.

The CM stated that the IFWS is a gift to the Mumbaikars and, in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and Cyclone Nisarga, he asserted both blood management and flood management have become equally important.

"IFWS is a gift to the people of Mumbai as monsoon has become difficult to predict. Efficient flood management is important in Mumbai, as it has areas that are lower than sea level, where it becomes difficult to drain water out," stated Thackeray.

Civic Chief Iqbal Singh Chahal stated the IFWS will be a model for the rest of India.

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