South Asia is the one of the most disaster prone region in the world. Building resilience to natural disasters is a pressing challenge for achieving sustainable development in the region. Floods are one of the natural disasters in India having devastating impacts on the vulnerable population, especially poor, who live along river side and are dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. In 2017 alone, floods had caused huge economic damage of more than INRs. 26500 Crore.

Early warning is an important measure for disaster risk reduction. It can prevent loss of life and reduce the economic and material damages in case of a disaster. Continuous monitoring of related parameters is essential to generate accurate warning in such a timely fashion that allows sufficient time to the related agencies to enact their appropriate disaster management plans.

Flood forecasting and early warning is one of the most effective flood risk management strategies to minimise the negative impacts of floods. Using the recent advances in space information and computation technologies, Central Water Commission has achieved the capability of issuing flood forecast warning with longer lead time of up to 3 days at most of its flood forecasting sites. These information, however, are rarely used by the communities who live along the river side. It is important to create awareness among the common citizen to ensure early preparedness to fight against the probable disaster. It is also important that the operational capabilities of all agencies involved in disaster mitigation in the flood affected river basins in country are enhanced to effectively utilise these new tools and techniques to save lives and livelihoods.

The National Conference on Flood Early Warning for Disaster Risk Reduction to be jointly organised by CWC and NRSC at Hyderabad will bring synergy amongst expert scientists, engineers, managers, flood disaster management authorities, decision makers on the latest technological developments in the area of flood early warning at National level. I hope the workshop would be useful to the concerned professionals involved in flood damage mitigation, technical experts, disaster risk managers and policy makers in enhancement of their knowledge on flood early warning system.

I wish the Conference a great success.

S. Masood Husain
Chairman, Central Water Commission