At present, the Ministries/ Departments responsible for drought management at the National and State levels get inadequate technical support for drought early warning and monitoring. It has a serious impact on the timelines and scale of operations for drought management. Keeping this in view, the Government of India has requested all the States to set up large network of a Weather Monitoring System.
Accordingly, a State Drought Monitoring Cell (SDMC) has been set up in OSDMA consisting of Agronomist, Weather Experts, GIS Expert, Database Analyst and Data entry Operators under direct supervision of the Nodal officer (SDMC) and headed by the Managing Director OSDMA. Process has been started for installation of Automated Weather Station (AWS) and Automatic Rain Gauges (ARG) in all the 30 Districts of the State.
The Drought Monitoring Cell (DMC) is monitoring all the indices and indicators of drought on a scientific basis and providing technical advice to the Government. It is interacting with multiple National and State-level scientific institutions, Ministries and Developments, obtaining relevant information related to different aspects of droughts, and assisting the Government in the management of drought relief and mitigation.
The objectives of DMC at the National and State levels are as follows:
a) To act as the scientific and technical advisor to the Government on all aspects of drought management.
b) To undertake studies and research on various scientific and technical issues related to drought management.
c) To develop a database on various drought related indices and indicators; precipitation, evapotranspiration, groundwater levels, surface water bodies, land use, soils and forest cover.
d) To provide drought early warning information to the Government and other stakeholders.
e) To develop short-term and long-term drought mitigation measures and recommend them to the various institution and farmers.
f) To develop a network of various resources and user agencies so that the information and database management could be strengthened through collective inputs of these agencies.
g) To initiate, support and coordinate applied research programs in universities and other institutions related to drought monitoring and mitigation.
DMC would conduct a number of core activities in relation to drought management. These core activities are as follows:
i. Build and Maintain a Database on Drought Indices and Indicators: DMC would regularly collect and analyze data of various indicators of drought such as rainfall, land use patterns, agricultural conditions, groundwater and surface water levels, and socio-economic conditions such as migration, distress sale of assets, etc. Such a database would be maintained on GIS platforms, and be accessible to all the users.
ii. Preparation and Issuance of Periodical Reports on Drought: DMC would prepare and disseminate reports prepared on daily, weekly, monthly, seasonally, and annual basis on different aspects of drought management. It would include reports on rainfall, various stages of agricultural operations, crop conditions reservoir levels, fodder, and drinking water situations.
iii. Inter- disciplinary Studies on Drought Management: DMC would support inter-disciplinary studies on drought management to develop a knowledge- based public policy on drought management. It would combine aspects of climate change, meteorology, agriculture, irrigation, water conservation and coping strategies adopted by the people. Such studies would provide insights into natural resource management, and suggest feasible mitigation measures.
iv. Maintenance and Operation of a Weather Stations Network: DMC may consider setting up telemetric rain gauges/ weather stations in the state, maintaining the network, and improving the database on climate and rainfall.