Bengaluru: All thanks to the torrential downpour in Maharashtra, the resultant floods in north Karnataka have wreaked havoc, killing more than 10 people.

As Karnataka finds it difficult to comes to terms with the humongous losses, we try to understand the possible preventive measures that can be taken in order to mitigate the losses.

1. Timely and accurate assessment of rainfall by IMD

For its weather forecast, India depends on the India Meteorological Department (IMD) heavily. Capt Raja Rao, a water expert, says that the IMD should predict rains for every river basin. For example, he added, “Three rivers Kabini, Hemavathi and Harangi have three different basins. Rain forecast in these regions can help the management of waters in a better way. The flow of water depends on three criteria: The steeper the area, higher the flow, greener the area, water will be cleaner and flatter the area, the flow will be slow and rainfall intensity will be less.”

Based on these factors, the flow of water to the dams can also be measured.

2. Dam management

The knowledge of the absorbing capacities of dams is also important. The water expert said, “Whether a dam is full or half full or empty, it is imperative to have the data. As the dam gets full to the brim, it must be discharged so that floodwaters will be managed.”

Additionally, when surplus water is available, it should be used and stored in the dams. For example, the water expert added, “We had an additional 130 tmc of water available in the recent days. Why wasn’t the level of Almatti raised? If it were raised, we could have stored the water.”

3. Rescue of villagers

Finally, based on the discharge, the water expert said the authorities should identify low-lying areas and inform the people about it. They should be evacuated and taken to safer zones for a certain period of time and then, when water recedes, should be brought back.

Apart from all these, a central agency that takes care of all the dams will go a great way in managing the water distribution and retention system.