Blogs

19th Delft-FEWS User Days – a recap

19th Delft-FEWS User Days – a recap

The 19th edition of the Delft-FEWS User Days saw a significant turnout, with over 150 users joining us from around the globe.


 

We experienced two days filled with inspiring talks, great demonstrations, and well-organized breakout sessions. We felt proud to witness the enthusiastic participation of all community members – new faces and Delft-FEWS veterans alike! After the opening words by Bianca Peters, unit manager of Inland Water Systems at Deltares, we delved into the Slovenian floods in August 2023. Mirza Sarač and Andrej Golob delivered an inspiring demonstration on how to handle such situations, combining it with the power of the forecasts by Delft-FEWS. Following this talk (and the subsequent audience discussion), presentations were given by the UK Environmental Agency and JBA consulting, the German Federal Institute for Hydrology, and Nelen & Schuurmans, and RoyalHaskoningDHV.

Bianca Peters opening the International Delft-FEWS User Days.

The afternoon session featured two additional talks, followed by breakout sessions and demonstrations. We were privileged to have insights from our iconic duo, Marcel Ververs & Gerben Boot, who discussed the status of Delft-FEWS and the progress of new developments. The breakout sessions tackled the Web Operator Client, RTC Tools, and measurement devices developed by Obscape. Attendees showcased their innovative solutions to challenges in their hydrological systems. Demo stands filled our events hall at Deltares, showcasing Delft-FEWS systems from around the world. During an extended coffee break, participants milled around seven different showcases with a chance to interact with the developers. The plenary sessions were ended by the launching of the Delft-FEWS trailer video and giving away blue flashlights with the Delft-FEWS logo – memorabilia of the event!

Between all the talks and content-rich plenary sessions, food greeted the participants at every break: coffee, snacks, lunch, and drinks. To cap off the first day, we also had our traditional dinner which drew over 120 participants. The Bierfabriek in Delft provided an evening filled with specialty beers (complete with a wall tap) followed by a buffet. When we left at 22:30, the lively atmosphere showed no signs of slowing down!

People enjoying lunch at the Delft-FEWS User Days

Surprisingly, everyone returned fresh and relaxed on the second day. The day began with two talks about Machine Learning: an overview of the role Machine Learning can play within forecasting from our keynote speaker, Koen Reef followed by a talk by Nathan Barber from the Tennessee Valley Authority (US) on an excellent use case of machine learning in their operational systems. Marcel and Gerben reflected on the progress of Delft-FEWS in the past few years and revealed their plans to the user community. Steve Wang of Seqwater spoke next about the impressive developments in Seq-FEWS. This was followed by a talk on Riki Rahmad on his PhD dissertation on the Deli River, supervised by Dr. Che Hao Chang. Then, the Delft-FEWS Community Strategy Board engaged in an interactive session discussing their strategic vision for the coming years.

The Delft-FEWS community strategy board

The event concluded with an official Deltares Campus Tour, showcasing all the facilities at the Deltares site. In summary, it was a fantastic event with active contributions, meaningful participation, and the sharing of diverse ideas and perspectives. We eagerly anticipate reconnecting with you all at future Delft-FEWS events, workshops, webinars, and User Days 2024!

Access all presentations: Delft-FEWS international user meeting 2023 - Delft-FEWS - oss.deltares.nl (Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the presentations)

 

Organizing team for User Days 2023: Socorro Rodrigo, Jeroen Berrevoets, Ilonka ten Broeke