NEW DELHI: Looking to provide real-time flood forecasts as well as data to help farmers plan their cropping pattern, the government today gave its nod to the multi- purpose National Hydrology Project (NHP) which has an outlay of over Rs 3,679 crore.

The decision to approve the project — which also intends to facilitate water resource management and ensure equitable use of water — was taken during a Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Termed as a programme that is expected to boost India’s prestige in the field of scientific endeavour, the project with a total outlay of Rs 3,679.7 crore aims to cover the entire country as opposed to the earlier hydrology projects which covered only 13 states.

“The project will help in the development of real-time flood forecasting and reservoir operations in a manner that does not result in sudden opening of gates leading to the inundation of the areas below,” said an official statement.

“It will help in providing real-time information on a dynamic basis to farmers about the groundwater position for them to accordingly plan their cropping pattern,” it added.

According to the government, NHP will facilitate integrated water resource management by adopting river basin approach through collation and management of hydro- meteorological data. It will also help in water resource assessment and prioritise its allocation and use for irrigation, the statement said.

The project is expected to assist in promoting “efficient and equitable” use of water, especially groundwater, at the village-level and provide information on quality of water, it said.

NHP will help in the gathering of hydro-meteorological data which will be stored and analysed on a real-time basis and can be seamlessly accessed by any user at the state/ district/village-level, the statement added.

Of the total outlay, Rs 3,640 crore has been earmarked for NHP while Rs 39.7 crore has been kept aside for National Water Informatics Centre (NWIC).

To be set up as an independent organisation, NWIC will be under the control of the Union Water Resources Ministry.

Fifty per cent of the total project amount, that is Rs 1,839.8 crore, would be loaned from World Bank while the remaining amount would be central assistance from budgetary support.