Interesting presentations and lively discussions at the Delft-FEWS NL User Day

Interesting presentations and lively discussions at the Delft-FEWS NL User Day

On Tuesday 6 June, the Dutch Delft-FEWS community gathered in Delft for the annual Delft-FEWS User Day. Roughly 70 people had signed up, most of which are working for one of the 21 waterboards in the Netherlands, who have regional systems in place. There were also representatives present from the government (Rijkswaterstaat), consultants (who may work together with the waterboards), universities, and other stakeholders in water engineering. Presentations can be downloaded at the events page.

The theme of the day was "Delft-FEWS: steering towards the future", referencing the challenges of the future that we face in the Netherlands. With the input from the community, we were able to present a diverse and interesting program!

The keynote address was delivered by dr. ir. Niko Wanders (expert on drought and climate change at Utrecht University). He covered questions like: "what are the effects of drought in the Netherlands and how may they change under climate change?". "To what extent will we be able to mitigate or adapt to the consequences of these changes and when will we have to accept some of the consequences of climate change?". A refreshing take on the limits of our water system!

After the keynote, presentations by the community followed. Did you know that some waterboards in the Netherlands consist mainly of polders where many structures and pumps are in place to control the water level? And did you also know that waterboard Rijnland is working together with Nelen & Schuurmans to make their operations more sustainable? In a case study with 10 polders, they achieved a reduction of CO2 emissions by 6-12% and costs by 9%, using RTC-Tools (Deltares "in-house" optimization software for real-time control) in combination with day-ahead price and sustainability signals provided by their energy provider.

Do you like swimming? In Friesland (the northernmost province of the Netherlands) they do! However, due to climate change and increasing temperatures, swimming spots may be closed more often, when the level of "blue-green algae/ cyanobacteria" exceeds the safety-limit of the government. However, sampling water quality in all waterbodies in Friesland, let alone the Netherlands, is a daunting task. The waterboard Noorderzijlvest has worked together with Deltares to operationalize forecasts of water quality to aid in this process!

These are some of the topics that were covered. However, this was only a tip of the iceberg. Throughout the rest of the day, many other interesting presentations told different stories of developments in the context of future change! It's great to see how Delft-FEWS connects so many people and can assist us to steer toward the future!

Thanks to all who attended and presented!
Jurian, Leo and Ilonka

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