June 20, 2013 00:00
By PONGPHON SARNSAMAK
The Loxley-AGT consortium, which was chosen to build and operate a centre for water and flood information, is now working intently on the IT infrastructure plan.
“At least in the first year of the project, we will be able to set up a system that can simulate the flood situation in the Chao Phraya River basin, as the database related to water and floods in this river basin is available now,” Vasant Chatikavanij, senior executive vice president of Loxley, said yesterday.
According to the terms and conditions of the government’s Bt350-billion water- and flood-management programme, all projects must be completed within five years.
Loxley-AGT won the bidding for modules A6 and B4 worth Bt3.9 billion. There are nine modules and the winning bid for each module was disclosed on Tuesday.
The company expects to complete the information system as well as the centre’s main building within three years. After that the company will spend the following two years on technology transfer.
Until the main building is finished, Loxley expects to use some space in state-owned enterprise CAT Telecom’s building as the back office and the Loxley building as the capacity training centre.
According to the preliminary plan, the company has divided its tasks into four projects – telemetry installation, construction of the water and flood information centre, information-technology establishment, and project management.
Loxley will handle the local hardware and project management while its partner AGT, a Swiss company with expertise in security systems, will oversee software development.
Loxley will meet with AGT’s executives early next month to discuss the plan to run the five-year project.
“We are expecting to be an excellent agency for water and flood information technology not only in the country but also in the region,” Vasant said.
The company is considering exporting this know-how and technology to other regions such as South Asia if it can complete this project.
“We see that water management will be a key issue in the near future,” he said.
However, the Administrative Court will issue its ruling next Thursday on whether to suspend the whole project. This would be an uncontrollable factor.
Cooperation from the 18 state water-related agencies would be another risk to completing this project.
The company bared its system, called ReadyMIND, at the Second Asia-Pacific Water Summit in Chiang Mai last month.
The ReadyMIND platform comprises a five-layered system that monitors, simulates and predicts floods and droughts.
The first layer collects real-time data such as weather, actual rain and water levels using sensors as well as information from the operating system and the Internet.
For the second layer, a national data centre will be established to gather local water and weather-related information from various sources and formats, which will be aggregated and standardised into one integrated national data warehouse, providing all the information needed for analysis, modelling and forecasting.
The third layer will focus on advanced modelling and simulation to help cut the impact of disasters by predicting how real situations will unfold.
It also helps with accurate evaluations by running “what-if” scenarios, recommending preventive measures, the allocation of limited resources as well as highlighting ways of optimising the operation of infrastructure such as gates and pumps, which could potentially cut down considerably on flooding. This layer supports planning and preparation during routine operations, as well as real-time emergency response during floods.
In the fourth layer, ReadyMIND creates a comprehensive situational awareness picture that integrates weather information, telemetry data and closed-circuit video as well as equipment status, system status, emergency resources, operating plans, events and alerts in real time at multiple levels across the country.
This information is then displayed on a geographic information system map.
The last layer facilitates cross-agency collaboration, decision-making and information dissemination, ensuring the development of a coordinated national response strategy and multi-tier water resources and crisis management.
These systems have already been implemented in several countries such as the Netherlands and China to manage their water resources and reduce the impact of floods.