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  Aug 07, 2020


Q. What is it?

A. It is an Integrated Flood Warning System and is a joint initiative between the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

Mumbai is only the second city in the country after Chennai to get this system.

Q. How it works?

A. The warning system will be able to relay alerts of possible flood-prone areas anywhere between six to 72 hours in advance.

• The system can provide all information regarding possible flood-prone areas, likely height the floodwater could attain, location-wise problem areas across all 24 wards and calculate the vulnerability and risk of elements exposed to flood.

  • The primary source for the system is the amount of rainfall, but with Mumbai being a coastal city, the system also factors in tidal waves and storm tides for its flood assessments.

Q. What all are its features?

  • The IFLOWS-Mumbai comprises seven modules, namely data assimilation, flood, inundation, vulnerability, risk, dissemination and decision support system. 
  • It incorporates weather models from National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF), India Meteorological Department (IMD) and field data from the rain gauge network stations.
  • This Geographic Information System (GIS)- based decision support system has all relevant details - such as land topography, land use, infrastructure, population, lakes, creeks and data on river bathymetry (study of the beds or floors of water bodies) of all rivers namely Mithi, Dahisar, Oshiwara, Poisar and Ulhas.
  • The system has provisions to capture the urban drainage within the city and predict the areas of flooding in advance so that the civic body can issue alerts in advance.

Q. Who was behind its development?

A. It is developed by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), in coordination with the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM).

Q. Why was this system needed in Mumbai?

A. Mumbai, the financial capital of India, has been experiencing floods with increased periodicity.

• The recent flood on 29 August 2017 had brought the city to a standstill.

• Last year, post-monsoon and unseasonal rainfall as late as October, two tropical cyclones in the

Arabian Sea had caught authorities off guard and left a trail of destruction.

• The flood during 26th July 2005, when the city received a rainfall of 94 cm, a 100 year high in a span of 24 hours had paralyzed the city completely.

Q. What is the significance of this system?

A. Urban flooding is common in the city from June to September, resulting in the crippling of traffic, railways and airlines. As a preparedness for floods before they occur, the system will help in warning the citizens so that they can be prepared in advance for flooding conditions