Monday, August 16, 2010

University Research: the Floods

Millions have suffered in the recent and continuing floods.Admittedly,such floods have never been experienced ever in the history of Pakistan,however,floods are a common cyclical occurrence with mighty Indus. Lesser floods have always occurred.This is yet another area where adequate and ample research opportunities are available.Floods cannot be prevented but their frequency and intensity reduced through storage dam,which is a separate issue and has been dealt with elsewhere in these pages.

Floods impact can be handled and mitigated in a more organised and scientific manner much reducing the misery and sufferings of the affected populace,if Universities develop and maintain something that is called River Basin Models(RBM).Through such models one could predict the flow down the river and forecast, with the addition of GIS tools, the areas which would be inundated with a fair degree of accuracy and sufficient warning at-least for Punjab and Sindh where bulk of the losses have occurred. Universities of Peshawar,Jamshoro and Punjab are the directly relevant universities which could be involved with the work done by Pakistan Council of Water Research(PCWR).One wonders whether water research is conducted by our universities at all.water is such a fertile and wide area of research that hundreds of Phds can be absorbed in it.

Another related area where there would be no dearth of subjects and possibly even of funds is Environment which is no more a mere local issue and is integrated with the world environment. Research on the local environment,weather modelling,monitoring changes and trends are respectable issues of research,providing topics for research frontiers as is liked by the conventional wisdom on the campus in Pakistan.

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