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2022 Australian Delft-FEWS User Days - hybrid format

Delft-FEWS User Days Australia 2022

24 Aug 2022  - 26 Aug 2022 Sunwater office: 9/515 St Pauls Terrace, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006

Full program with download link for presentations

In August 2022, the Bureau of Meteorology, Sunwater, Seqwater and Deltares have welcomed the Australasian Delft-FEWS community to the first hybrid version of the Delft-FEWS User Days down under. The in person component was hosted at Sunwater’s head office in sunny Brisbane.

It was great to be able to connect again with kindred spirits, and the hybrid format worked well thanks to the great set-up at Sunwater. This year had an exceptional program, where we shared our experiences and learned about new developments.  

This year held another first, with the field trip to the "best river gauge of the Southern Hemisphere" owned by Brisbane City Council.

A record number of 4 courses were organized alongside the user days, two of which are yet to take place (Basic Config; FEWS API; Advanced ConfigWflow - distributed hydrological modelling).

Program Wednesday 24 Aug 

  • 11:00 - Opening - Michael Hughes (Sunwater)
    • Michael opens the 9th DFUDA. For Sunwater the implementation of Delft-FEWS was a game changer to a more consistent and automated way of forecasting. With the help of Seqwater they were able to start working on Sunwater's application. Looking back on the impact of TC Debbie (2017) he couldn't think of what would have happened if they hadn't had Delft-FEWS back then…
  • 11:15 - FEWS GWRC pilot - Hamish Smith (GWRC)
    • A pre-recorded video by Hamish Smith announcing the ideas around a pilot implementation of Delft-FEWS for the Greater Wellington Regional Council. As a result of an evaluation, Delft-FEWS was the best candidate selected for the first application in NZ. It will be a cloud based implementation with the ambition to grow to an impact based forecasting system.
  • 11:30 - Seq-FEWS - David Pokarier (Seqwater)
    • Dave showed three topics with which he and his team were able to experiment with or to think about how to implement this. Although the time in the wet season was very limited, they were able to give some thoughts to and experimenting with: auto-calibration, the flood warning display and ingesting the BoM's AIFS warnings. He ended with a call to action to the community to support the idea of having photographs more logically and simply connected to timeseries in the system.
  • 12:00 - Flood Intelligence Forecasting System (FliFS) - Shoni Maguire (ACS) & Chris Leahy (BoM)
    • Shoni and Chris shared the results of the pilot implementation of the Flood Intelligence Forecasting System (FliFS) using the HyFS system, Wflow and SFINCS models and waterRIDE output where applicable. Also they shared how the current outputs find their way in the dissemination chain of the BoM and Australian Climate Services (ACS).
  • 13:30 - RTFS -  Yenori Morales (WaterTech) & James Zhan (BHP)
    • Yenory and James highlighted the fragile and narrow windows of opportunity to release mining water into creeks without violating environmental limits and rules. Based on modelling results and hydro-meteo data, intended releases are calculated. For the future, the might want to apply the Open archive and asses system performance.
  • 14:00 - HyFS from 2017 to 2021 - Wen Wang (Bureau of Meteorology)
    • Wen shared the journey of BoM's HyFS system from the early implementation up till now. In the next 2 weeks the final testing of HyFS 2021 will be done and will be launched in the new ROBUST hardware environment. With that, HyDS functionality will be moved/changed as well. Besides technical and visual improvements to the system, BoM's project also included a major overhaul of the System and Forecaster Documentation, which are all digitally available.
  • 14:30 - Web OC / Delft-FEWS API - Daniel Twigt (Deltares)
    • Daniel shared the road the WebOC has travelled so far and what the plans are towards a MVP to be launched in 2022. The approach of the FEWS web services, reuse of WebOC components, shared libraries and the results of the innovation sprint with HydroLogic (seller of Hydronet) was also part of his presentation.
  • 16:00 - Delft-FEWS vision and roadmap update - Gerben Boot (Deltares)
    • Gerben presented the plans and progress of this year's roadmap as part of the Delft-FEWS Vision 2025. He shared details about code clean-up, release testing automation, code quality and security & cloud. Also the parallel themes computational framework and web based operator client were highlighted
  • 16:15 - IPCC climate extremes “What’s in it for FEWS" - Bart van den Hurk (Deltares)
    • Bart is one of many IPCC experts contributing to the 5 yearly IPCC reports. He promoted the use of the interactive atlas and availability of gridded climate data which underpins all scenarios. He invites the community to apply these datasets in forecasting systems, although time and space scales may differ. A joint approach to deliver fit-for-purpose datasets is welcomed and can contribute to a better understanding of extreme events. He supports the analyses of 'shifting' existing events (in location) or create synthetic events based on actual climate scenarios.
  • 17:00 - Delft-FEWS new features 2022.01 - Gerben Boot (Deltares)
    • Gerben shared the highlights of the latest Delft-FEWS 2022.01 release. Besides that he introduced the team members who are all contributing to Delft-FEWS developments and (ICT) support.


Program Wednesday 25 Aug 

  • 09:00 - SuDS in Development Kicking the bucket - Clint Chrystal (Sunwater)
    • ​​​​​​​Clint shared the development of the SuDS system so far and the ambitions for extension. With the team expanding, Sunwater explores options to include water supply schemes but above all the understanding of the data going in, through and out of your system remains key. More is not always better…
  • 09:30 - SLEIP - Kim Robinson (HydroTasmania)
    • Kim shared the developments done in the HydroTAS system, the only Delft-FEWS system in Australia in which hydropower is playing an important role. Besides the Delft-FEWS software, also ChyPP, SWIFT and RTC tools are combined to calculate outflow optimizations.
  • 10:00 - News of the World - Delft-FEWS Community Strategy Board - Justin Robinson (BoM)
    • Justin presented the rationale behind the Delft-FEWS International Community Strategy Board and what topics have been discussed the last year. Additionally, he's promoting that everyone visits the "Community Talks" which are organized in between User Conferences as a way to stay connected, be active in the Delft-FEWS community and share your experiences with others.
  • 10:15 - BoM plans for the FEWS archive - Greg Keir (Bureau of Meteorology)
    • Greg presents a number of very concrete use-cases (which have led to developments) in the Open Archive. The use cases focus on the treatment of archive raw and QA/QC timeseries which can be merged into the Open Archive.
  • 11:30 - From training to reality - Steve Wang & Elizabeth Jackson (Seqwater)
    • ​​​​​​​Steve and Liz provided an overview of the thorough preparation work they carried out in order to run a realistic flooding exercise. This year's exercise also contained 'interaction' with the stakeholders receiving the flood alerts by role-playing and 1:1 interviews. This step in the dissemination chain was added compared to last year's exercise. Exercises like this are essential to test operational readiness. This wet season they discovered that there's one crucial difference between exercising and real life flood operations: the human factor. After an exercise you can easily go back to business as usual (also privately). In a flood situation, this is totally different…this statement was broadly recognized.
  • 12:00 - Toowoomba Flood Forecasting in FEWS and Guardian - Dan Rodgers (JBP)
    • ​​​​​​​Dan presented the way how the Delft-FEWS modelling workflow engine has been coupled (via the FEWS web services) to the Incident Management System (IMS) called Guardian. In councils, this IMS is gaining popularity and so are its dashboards. Flood calculations in graphs and maps (from FEWS) are retrieved via web service calls to be displayed in IMS Guardian. Toowoomba is a first implementation and more to follow is the overall expectation.
  • 13:30 - Automated Performance Analysis in HyFS - Claire Mills (Bureau of Meteorology)
    • ​​​​​​​In a very clear presentation Claire shared the way how a number of new features in the PAT Display (Performance Analysis Tool) of Delft-FEWS now enables the performance analysis of past flood warning and flood watches disseminated via the WET tool and HyFS. How 'well' were the forecasts in terms of timeliness and accuracy compared to what was actually measured. And monthly reporting against BoM's benchmarks now takes only a few days of work. Over time BoM notices an improvement of overall performance.
  • 14:00 - Water Coach & Open Archive - Maarten Smoorenburg (Deltares)
    • ​​​​​​​Maarten showed an overview of actual and upcoming functionality of the Open Archive and the FEWS web services  and in what way a "Water Coach on-the-fly" could benefit more efficiently from an existing archive. This will save time creating the 'training scripts'. He also highlighted interesting implementations of the archive elsewhere in the world and relevant the latest developments around warning product generating and the ability to store these in the Open Archive too and retrieve them again via web services.
  • 14:30 - Delft-FEWS with community based warning systems - Geoff Tooley (eThekwini)
    • Warning people in events and their response to these warnings are based on trust. In South Africa, many unofficial dwellings are built in river planes sensitive to flooding. Geoff shared his experiences in the eThekwini municipality in which building trust with local leaders, joint fact finding and mapping the river and the surrounding village and an open 'whats-app' group communication channel lead to sharing flood information and follow-up of flood warning evacuations which has saved lives.
  • 15:15 - MISS-FEWS (Most Impressive ScreenShot) & Best Preso (in-person and online) vote
    • MISS-FEWS: Steve Wang (Seqwater) with the Auto calibration display
    • Best presentation (in-person): Steve Wang and Elizabeth Jackson (Seqwater)
    • Best presentation (online): Clair Miller (BoM)


Closing  remarks - Gerben Boot (Deltares)

First of all I would like to thank Sunwater for hosting, this was excellent! Both from a technical as well as from a catering perspective (sponsered by the Bureau). I also want to thank the user days organizing committee. A big hand for Wen, Simone, Rachel, Steve, Dave and Clint. Thank you very much! And I would like to thank all presenters for their very interesting contributions over the last two days. And of course I would like to thank you for being here: physically for one or two days or participating online!

Main objective of the days are meet, share & learn and listen! When I look back I see a lot of examples of those! Michael considering Delft-FEWS as  game changer at Sunwater with the help of Seqwater to get started. Hamish is 'dreaming' about their implementation in Wellington which brings them at the start of their Delft-FEWS journey. Wen and Greg are looking into next steps in the HyFS system making it more Robust and benefitting from a broad variety of components like the archive and the water coach. We also learned how we can or should clean-up our data or even consider to bring in climate change data…we also learned also to 'understand the data' according to Clint.

From Deltares' perspective we shared the latest developments and roadmap status but the main thing is to listen. We listen to your requests, ideas and love to hear snags & glitches you experience in your system. Please share them! It keeps us sharp what to fix or add to the code!
We have also seen a lot of systems and features in action! That's very nice. Nice screens! Auto-calibration, use of ensembles, nice reporting, the list is endless…

I want to end with a call to action! Please benefit from the fact that you are part of a community! Reach out to the ones you know, to Deltares and I encourage all of you, beginners and experienced users, to be active in the community and meet new people by joining events physically, online or hybrid.

Metaphorically speaking, let's all fill the bucket with experiences, ideas, dreams and best-practices, training/flood exercises and then let's kick this bucket so it spills and everyone in the community can be a sponge to capture what you want and need!

Thank you!

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