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Introduction

WaterCoach is a training environment for Delft-FEWS. It is a tool to support the learning process and train users of Delft-FEWS for events and actions that could happen in real-world situations. It replicates the actual Delft-FEWS (operational) environment used during crisis almost completely. WaterCoach works with different “scenarios”, which are based on real data for historic events. For each scenario (or event), you can design multiple "scripts", which are designed to meet a different training goals (such as how to respond to a certain type of flood event). Next to that, it is also a safe environment for users to practice with Delft-FEWS without fear of "breaking things" inside the real systems they depend on. In WaterCoach one can practice making the right forecasts with the information that is available. It can not only be used to train an individual user in stand alone mode, it is also possible to organize training sessions with large groups of “participants”, which can have different roles. This master-participant mode emulates an operational system, where participants can see each others' work.

The functionality of WaterCoach is to take a stand-alone version of a Delft-FEWS application and automatically move that through time, revealing new data, forecasts, and other information to the training participants along the way. The scenario used for the training consists of all data related to the weather and water situation and is built before the training. A script is added to the scenario, which describes everything that is not data from observations and models, such as weather forecast updates or a news bulletin concerning a sunken ship. Multiple scripts can be created for a single scenario (or historic event).

WaterCoach can be used to assist the trainee to reach the following learning objectives, i.e. to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Collect, analyze, and interpret data, and to formulate and support conclusions. This concerns the results of hydrological, hydrodynamic and meteorological models and measurements;
  • Identify the strengths and limitations of models as predictors of behaviour in the real world. This concerns the meteorological, hydrological and hydrodynamic models. The model results are evaluated based on measurements and expert judgment;
  • Apply appropriate software tools to analyze the relevant data;
  • Communicate effectively about forecasts with a specific audience, both orally and in writing;
  • Work effectively under time pressure and/or during unexpected events (e.g. technical problems).
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