NDMA and Ministry of Jal Shakti conduct workshop on Management of Floods: Reservoir Management

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NEW DELHI, FRIDAY: National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in collaboration with Ministry of Jal Shakti conducted a national-level workshop on the Management of Floods: Reservoir Management in New Delhi today (October 18, 2019).

Reservoirs store large volumes of water and play an important role in meeting irrigation, hydropower generation and other water needs of communities living in their vicinity. They are one of the most important structural measures for reducing the impact of floods, and their well thought-out operationalisation is a pre-requisite to minimising the frequency, duration and impact of floods in downstream areas.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri G. V. V. Sarma, Member Secretary, NDMA, referred to NDMA Guidelines of 2008 and 2010, which elaborated a number of action points by various agencies and State governments. He urged all stakeholder agencies and State governments to coordinate their efforts towards improved reservoir management in the country. He also called upon State Governments and agencies responsible for management of reservoirs to correlate the rainfall prediction data with 'Rule Curve' data for operationalising dams.

Shri Upendra Prasad Singh, Secretary, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation emphasised the need for judicious operationalisation of dams by State authorities based on the data provided by India Meteorological Department (IMD) and Central Water Commission (CWC). He agreed with the need to revisit the Rule Curves and requested all the State governments to undertake the task on priority. “There is a need to revisit our policies as the changing climate has posed new challenges,” he said. He also stressed the need to have proper dissemination of flood-related alerts and transparency in reservoir operations.

To set the tone of the workshop, NDMA made a presentation highlighting the progress made so far, key issues and challenges, and the way forward for improving our management of reservoirs for better flood control.

Stakeholders discussed a range of issues pertaining to better management of reservoirs and the role of rainfall prediction, flood forecasting and early warning and wide dissemination of advisories and alerts. The need to manage gaps in reservoir operations and to remove encroachments on flood plains were also highlighted. State governments presented case studies on the management of dams.

It was decided to work towards an operational mechanism that would ensure timely exchange of information among all stakeholders so that reservoir operation during floods can be better regulated, based on advanced forecasting techniques.

NDMA Members and officials, senior officials from IMD, CWC, National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), representatives of State Governments and representatives of the civil society participated in the event.