29 January 2020
Our operational models are mainly designed for water level prediction. For a low lying country as the Netherlands timely and good forecasts are crucial to take measures like dike watch and closing barriers. It is in our veins to be prepared for the flood. Our numerical models provide current speed also. At very few spots we can validate the models and in general they are within 10-20% accuracy. So far so good. As the models are 2D, the current is depth averaged which is a good measure for deep drought shipping to our main ports. We need more, we need better. Due to wind and fresh water the behavior of the water is not a 2D phenomenon. The upper layers could flow with an angle of 90 degrees compared to the bottom. Especially when predicting drift from objects or persons this is of major importance, a matter of life or death. From Go with the Flow to Gone with the Flow.
We simply need a 3D model for better information. And simple have to take some steps for that: developing a new 3D North Sea Model (now under construction at Deltares), calibrate it on the sparse current measurements, buy some hardware, arrange some ICT support within the regular boundaries of arrangements, run on daily base pre-operational, run operational, archive and disseminate results, connect to existing tooling for oil and SAR response calculations, tune those applications on the altered current input and READY WE ARE!