Telemetry system to ensure transparency in water distribution

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The government plans to install a telemetry system at several locations in the Indus Basin irrigation system to ensure seamless distribution of water between provinces.

A telemetry system measures the water flow at different points in rivers and canals. The project is based on the state-of-the-art design of a real-time flow measurement system, then its installation, testing and commissioning at several locations/dams in the Indus Basin irrigation system.

It will provide flow monitoring data through the establishment of a main real-time data center and regional data centers for key stakeholders to access and use the information.

Muhammad Kashif, deputy director of the Pakistan Council of Water Resources Research (PCRWR), told WealthPK that the existing irrigation system in Pakistan is outdated.

“The old method of measurement requires irrigation department officials to go on site, take a reading with a dipstick, and submit the reading to the office. This procedure carries the risk of errors and falsification of records, which creates differences between officials in different provinces as to the actual status of water distribution,” Kashif said.

He said the telemetry system replaces the age-old manual water flow measurement system. “This will build trust between provinces by automatically transmitting real-time data to federal and provincial governments at their monitoring sites without human interference,” the official said.

The PCRWR initiated this project with the collaboration of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI). Kashif said PCRWR and IWMI have installed a telemetry system on all main channels in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, except the Right Bank Chashma Channel (CRBC), with the support of the USAID. Rating curves are developed for each KP channel.

“As a result, real-time data comes into the server and then is communicated to the irrigation department via WhatsApp messages,” he said.

In the province of Sindh, the telemetry system is installed in two channels – the Pat Feeder channel and the Qaiser channel. The water from these two canals also goes to Balochistan province during the Kharif season.

Kashif further informed that water flow measurement readings are also displayed on screens in the PCRWR, Indus River System Authority (IRSA), Ministry of Water Resources, as well as in the offices of water engineers. head of the respective districts in which all data is clearly visible. . “In order to validate the accuracy of the telemetry system, the data is cross-checked with the Acoustic Doppler Current Profiling Device (ADCP) used for channel throughput measurement, which ensures maximum accuracy,” he said. .

The official said that the existing water measurement system needs to be totally shifted from a manual system to an advanced technological system.

“The installation of a telemetry system on different canals and dams in the country will help reduce misunderstandings between provinces in terms of water distribution by providing accurate data on water flow,” he said. added.

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