National Hydroinformatics and Climate Data Center: NHC
Hydro – Informatics Institute (Public organization) or HII developed National Hydroinformatics and Climate Data Center: NHC to become the center in integration of national water resources information including aerial, statistic, water situation, and national water resources management researches to maximize benefits in managing water resources, analyzing information, forecasting and supporting decision management in normal and crisis situation.
Background of NHC
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej has always concerned about the water situation in Thailand. The use of information for water resource management decision was emphasized.
In 1996, His Majesty initiated the collaboration between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Office of the Royal Development Projects Board (RDPB), and Thailand Research Fund (TRF) to develop “Thailand Integrated Water Resources Management (TIWRM)” Network and assigned Hydro and Agro Informatics Institute (HAII) which during that time was still a research unit under National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) to responsible for the development.
In 1998, the project started by integrating water information of Chao Phraya river basin from 5 government agencies; Royal Irrigation Department, Thai Meteorological Department, Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and The National Water Resource Committee (NWRC). The project finished in 2002 and it was served as decision support system for water management and development in Thailand. This is an important starting point to accelerate the development and usage of information technology in water management in Thailand.
The integrated hydroinformatics data from 5 agencies has been visualized for His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej through His Majesty’s personal website, “Weather901“, and it was used to monitor water situation in Thailand every day. There was a story from Dr. Royol Chitradon, Former Director of HII, that, one night, there was a problem of the website’s system. Next morning, Dr. Royol received a call from the palace telling him that “His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej said his TV is gone”. From this story, it shows that the “Weather901” website was considered as His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s personal television channel.
In 2012, Hydro and Agro Informatics Institute or HAII under Ministry of Science and Technology has followed His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s initiative and integrated information from 12 water- and weather-related agencies such as Royal Irrigation Department, Thai Meteorological Department, Department of Water Resources, Department of Groundwater Resources, Marine Department, Hydrographic Department, Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency, Hydro and Agro Informatics Institute, Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, Land Development Department, and Department of Mineral Resources to establish “National Hydroinformatics and Climate Data Center”.
In 2015, HAII has expanded the data linkage to cover 34 agencies and housed 388 dataset. This integration included weather monitoring data e.g. storm tracking, satellite images, weather forecasting from sea surface temperature, 7-day rainfall prediction from WRF Model. NHC also included water monitoring data such as local rainfall data, dam level, water chart, discharge to Chao Phraya river, and water level in major rivers. This information is helpful for monitoring, analyzing, and forecasting water situation to ensure effective water management in both normal and crisis situation.
In 2019, NHC has already linked data from 37 agencies to maximize mutual benefits in managing water resources, controlling all situations and disaster warning.
*In 2019, HAII was restated to Hydro – Informatics Institute (Public Organization) or HII, and Ministry of Science and Technology was restated to “Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation (MHESI).