3D terrain maps are being created to see how water flows during flooding in urban areas
The city might be reeling under sweltering heat right now, but once the typical April showers kick in, so will the floods, especially in the city’s low-lying areas. Now, scientists from the city-based Indian Institute of Science (IISc) are developing high-resolution 3D terrain maps by using geographic information systems (GIS) to visualise precisely how water flows during flooding in an urban area.
Initially, the model is being developed primarily for Bengaluru and will be a part of an end-to-end management tool for urban floods, which will provide precise estimates of the level of water expected in respective localities along with the nearest place where people can take shelter in during flooding.
The model will provide information right from the forecast to an action plan required in such an event. “The forecast should go into the urban flood model and the research model should be flexible enough to be used by someone who is not an expert in that area,” said PP Mujumdar, chairperson of the interdisciplinary centre for water research at IISc.
The scientists say besides better forecasting, mitigation of floods needs an integrated approach involving better land-use management and city planning. While drainage systems could be improved, this, according to the researchers, may not always be possible in areas where large-scale development has taken place. The use of technology can help prepare for such events, and Mujumdar and his collaborators from India and abroad are working on such a project, called the ‘integrated urban flood management in India’.
Which is why government organisations like the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) are also involved in this collaborative project, which is funded by the Information Technology Research Academy (ITRA), a national programme initiated by the department of electronics and information technology (DeitY) under the aegis of the Union ministry of communications and information technology.