C-FLOWS, (Chennai Flood Warning System)

Prelims level : Environment Mains level : Disaster Management
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In news:

  • The office of the Principal Scientific Advisor to government of India, research institutions, chief among them the National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR), Chennai, and IITs, got together to build a flood warning system customized for use in Chennai.
  • Carrying the acronym CFLOWS, which stands for Chennai FLOOD Warning System.


  • The six-module ensemble can predict flooding due to heavy rainfall, sea level rise and increase in water levels of the three rivers (Cooum, Adyar and Kosasthalaiyar) that traverse the city. The State government shared data such as ward boundaries, population details, infrastructure available across Tamil Nadu, which have been used in the warning system. Knowing the elevation at different spots, the system can predict the way the area would flood based on different scenarios that have been simulated. Inputs were taken from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on forecast and National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF), which gives the prediction for rain 10 days in advance.
  • Similarly, INCOIS gives the hydrodynamic congestion such as storm surge and tide etc. Using this, the system can, two weeks ahead of the event, simulate the scenario. The system can predict what would happen at the level of individual wards
  • The flood itself cannot be avoided, but it can be managed and the disaster mitigated, if this kind of module are properly utilized.
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