Tackling drought without data

The severe drought which Tamil Nadu is facing could have been predicted if credible data was available. Historically 2 years drought follows floods ( in December 2015).

Unfortunately old historical hydrological data dating back to 19th century has been ill preserved and wasting in derelict libraries and locations.  Even the climate change report submitted by Tamil Nadu in 2015 to the centre was without state specific data and risk vulnerability studies. It seems all states have made similar errors in their plans, which then do not provide effective blueprint for tackling effects of climate change.

The state government needs to show political and bureaucratic will and urgently invest in data collection and storage, as climate change is at the doorstep.  There is need for collecting and collating credible data which can help the State formulate and implement climate change mitigation on a priority basis. The government needs to systematize the data collection process. Many academics are reluctant to share their data. The data gaps are huge and the quality is poor. We need a single data base which is accessible easily to all, and thus avoid duplication.

There is also need for a coherent policy towards use and conservation of water across various departments.   

 Links : http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/no-statistics-only-sticking-plaster-solutions/article18327917.ece


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