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Weather expert urges TEs to stay prepared

By AJIT PATOWARY
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GUWAHATI, May 6 � BP Chaliha Chair Professor and Head of the Department of Civil Engineering of IIT Guwahati, Arup Kumar Sarma, has made an appeal to the State�s tea estates (TEs) to prepare for the dry weather condition in advance during the rainy days. Prof Sarma is leading an IIT Guwahati research on the impact of climate change on North Eastern India�s water resources.

It needs mention here that TEs in five upper Assam districts have suffered a lot this time due to prolonged rainless condition.

Talking to this correspondent, Prof Sarma maintained that proper water harvesting methods can help the TEs in overcoming the drought-like situation. Some of the TEs, which upgraded their water harvesting measures following the IIT Guwahati suggestions, could overcome the drought-like situation in the recent past, he said.

Former Superintending Manager of Tezpore Tea Company Pranab Kumar Sarma, also a field expert of the IIT Guwahati project, guided the Dolojan TE, Neeteen Nagar TE and Pabhojan TE in Golghat district, Lengree TE and Barpathar TE in Karbi Anglong in developing and upgrading their water harvesting systems, leading to much positive results, informed Prof Sarma.

Water harvesting helped these TEs to irrigate during the dry days and also to recharge ground water. It was observed that the micro-climate of the water harvested areas improved and the tea bushes near the harvested sites remained water stress-free.

Prof Sarma, along with his research teammates, conducted a trend analysis with the climatic data collected in 2010-11, from various sources, including TEs, of the region.

This analysis and downscaling of the Global Climate Model (GCM) revealed that the region may face extreme climate. Hence they suggested rainwater harvesting technologies to the TEs to tap rainwater both from the catchment and roof-top sources.

The team observed significant variation in annual precipitation. Some of the TEs located in the Assam-Nagaland border areas in Golaghat district showed a mixed trend, that is � a decreasing trend for about five years and an increasing trend for the next about five years. Monthly distribution of rainfall also varied spatiotemporally.

It is also observed that the districts of Karbi Anglong, Golaghat, Jorhat, Udalguri, Darrang, Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon and part of Kamrup receive very low post-monsoon rainfall and suffer from drought. Therefore, it is necessary for TEs and other crop fields to harvest water during rainy season and use it during drought through irrigation.

The maximum daily rainfall data revealed possibility of extremely high daily rainfall, compared to the normal value, during the monsoon period, with the potential of causing devastating flood and erosion.

From the climate change study of the region, it is found that rainfall intensity may increase by 15 to 20 per cent in future, leading to more erosion and flood. At the same time, the number of dry days will also increase leading to drought-like conditions.

However, computed results showed shifting of monsoon. And it was found that intense monsoon rainfall may occur in the latter part of the season. All water management designs and plans should be done bearing in mind all these possibilities, said Prof Sarma.

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Weather expert urges TEs to stay prepared

GUWAHATI, May 6 � BP Chaliha Chair Professor and Head of the Department of Civil Engineering of IIT Guwahati, Arup Kumar Sarma, has made an appeal to the State�s tea estates (TEs) to prepare for the dry weather condition in advance during the rainy days. Prof Sarma is leading an IIT Guwahati research on the impact of climate change on North Eastern India�s water resources.

It needs mention here that TEs in five upper Assam districts have suffered a lot this time due to prolonged rainless condition.

Talking to this correspondent, Prof Sarma maintained that proper water harvesting methods can help the TEs in overcoming the drought-like situation. Some of the TEs, which upgraded their water harvesting measures following the IIT Guwahati suggestions, could overcome the drought-like situation in the recent past, he said.

Former Superintending Manager of Tezpore Tea Company Pranab Kumar Sarma, also a field expert of the IIT Guwahati project, guided the Dolojan TE, Neeteen Nagar TE and Pabhojan TE in Golghat district, Lengree TE and Barpathar TE in Karbi Anglong in developing and upgrading their water harvesting systems, leading to much positive results, informed Prof Sarma.

Water harvesting helped these TEs to irrigate during the dry days and also to recharge ground water. It was observed that the micro-climate of the water harvested areas improved and the tea bushes near the harvested sites remained water stress-free.

Prof Sarma, along with his research teammates, conducted a trend analysis with the climatic data collected in 2010-11, from various sources, including TEs, of the region.

This analysis and downscaling of the Global Climate Model (GCM) revealed that the region may face extreme climate. Hence they suggested rainwater harvesting technologies to the TEs to tap rainwater both from the catchment and roof-top sources.

The team observed significant variation in annual precipitation. Some of the TEs located in the Assam-Nagaland border areas in Golaghat district showed a mixed trend, that is � a decreasing trend for about five years and an increasing trend for the next about five years. Monthly distribution of rainfall also varied spatiotemporally.

It is also observed that the districts of Karbi Anglong, Golaghat, Jorhat, Udalguri, Darrang, Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon and part of Kamrup receive very low post-monsoon rainfall and suffer from drought. Therefore, it is necessary for TEs and other crop fields to harvest water during rainy season and use it during drought through irrigation.

The maximum daily rainfall data revealed possibility of extremely high daily rainfall, compared to the normal value, during the monsoon period, with the potential of causing devastating flood and erosion.

From the climate change study of the region, it is found that rainfall intensity may increase by 15 to 20 per cent in future, leading to more erosion and flood. At the same time, the number of dry days will also increase leading to drought-like conditions.

However, computed results showed shifting of monsoon. And it was found that intense monsoon rainfall may occur in the latter part of the season. All water management designs and plans should be done bearing in mind all these possibilities, said Prof Sarma.

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