Telangana Irrigation Department to use data from Internet of Things initiative to monitor water levels, inflows in State’s dams and reservoirs

Published : February 15, 2021 12:22 IST

Telanganan is embarking on a technology-driven initiative to optimise use of irrigation resources. Photo: MOHAMMED YOUSUF

In unarguably a first for the country, the Telangana Irrigation Department is setting up an Internet of Things (IoT) initiative using wirelessly collected data from a system of interrelated, Internet-connected objects in order to facilitate the easy monitoring, including real-time alerts, of water levels and inflows into all the State’s major dams and reservoirs. The Kaleswaram Decision Support System (KDSS), which deploys a network of sensors, will allow the State to leverage technology to get ground level information from reservoirs and dams. Artificial intelligence, machine learning and IoT underpin the KDSS system.

Disclosing this to mediapersons, Dr Rajat Kumar, Principal Secretary (Irrigation) added that the department had started installing sensors in eight locations. “If everything goes well, we will roll out the technology-driven initiative by April to help us deal with the situation during the Kharif season,” he said. The KDSS initiative has been taken up by the government as part of the reorganisation of the Irrigation Department.

As part of the IoT initiative a central command and control centre is being set up at Jala Soudha (Irrigation Bhavan), the headquarters of the Telangana Irrigation Department. The control centre will allow irrigation officials to monitor on an hourly basis, in a real time, the water inflows and water levels and other related information, and provide timely alerts about the amount of water being released through pumps in all the major reservoirs and dams, thereby opening the doors to a judicious and more effective utilisation of water, be it for irrigation, domestic and industrial consumption, or electricity generation. In addition to the central command and control centre, three regional command and control centres are being established for better coordination and effective operation of the system.

The Principal Secretary said the control centre would be like the police department’s dedicated command and control centre that monitors traffic and other movement through surveillance cameras installed at every nook and corner of Hyderabad city.

Rajat Kumar said that the effective use of technology, along with operations and maintenance, was now the need of the hour if the Irrigation department was to utilise effectively the State’s huge irrigation assets. The bureaucrat said the Irrigation Department had completed most of the construction of major projects in the State. He added that the department had already geo-tagged as many as 46,531 tanks and check dams in the state.

Rajat Kumar said that post the reorganisation of the department, officials had been given greater responsibilities, including the allocation of restricted financial powers to jurisdictional engineers, thereby allowing them to attend to emergency works such as breaches and damages to bunds at the water bodies. “The territorial jurisdiction has been clearly explained to officials and they have been entrusted with the responsibility of operation and maintenance of the reservoirs and other water bodies in their jurisdiction,” he said.