New Delhi: Under an international collaboration between the Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer (FITT) at IIT Delhi and the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), a project named ‘Water Security Hub’ was started in the Department of Civil Engineering (IIT DelhI) to develop new approaches to tackle the challenges and barriers to water security and sustainable development in the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi. The project is funded by the UKRI through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).
Moving ahead, the Water Security Hub project has launched a mobile application named “IITD Aab Prahari (आब प्रहरी)” to address waterlogging issues in urban areas during the monsoon. The app is available on Google Play and very soon will be available on iOS app store also.
Prof. Rangan Banerjee, Director, IIT Delhi; Shri Ashish Kundra, IAS, Principal Secretary, Department of Irrigation and Flood Control (I&FC), Delhi Government and other senior officials were present on the occasion.
In ‘IITD Aab Prahari’ mobile application system, communities and individuals are facilitated to report the real-time incidence of flooding, in and around their surroundings, by capturing the waterlogging information and uploading it to a central server. The information fed by the citizens will help the researchers at the Water Security Hub in the effective development and deployment of an early warning system to predict the urban floods through validation of their model. The aim is to help the local administration so that it can take any quick action to mitigate the flooding situation.
The current plan is to deploy the app for the NCT of Delhi. However, the app is generic enough to be used in other geographic settings.
Prof. A.K. Gosain, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Delhi, and the lead researcher for the UKRI GCRF Project, said, “IITD Aab Prahari (आब प्रहरी) mobile application uses the citizen science approach. This mobile app could change the way communities and governments deal with floods”.
A website named “Jalsuraksha” (https://jalsuraksha.iitd.ac.in/) was also launched on the occasion. The website serves as a single platform with all the information related to the research work undertaken by the Water Security Hub team at IIT Delhi to ensure water security in the NCT of Delhi.
The website interactively showcases IITD-Toolboxes and research products through GIS based frameworks for Decision Support Systems. These frameworks address technical, environmental, and social issues and support policymaking.
Prof. Dhanya C.T., Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Delhi and Principal Investigator of the Hub in IIT Delhi, explained, “Through this project, we are engaged in the creation of system frameworks in collaboration with the Hub and the other concerned stakeholders for planning, monitoring and assessment of water resources using an integrated approach”.
Water Security Hub: The Water Security Hub project, which is result of a £20-million-pound international collaboration, has been in progress since February 2019, under the aegis of FITT at IIT Delhi, to bring together leading global experts from academia, industry, and government to understand the true value of water and address the challenges of water security for all.