The second System-Risk training course was held at the Deltares institute in Delft, the Netherlands. The main technical topic was “System interactions and coupled processes, exploratory modelling”, from the 24th to 27th of June and a soft skills course in proposal writing was conducted on Friday 28th of June. The technical course included a field trip along the Rhine protection system in the Netherlands from the Dutch border.
A general overview of the ‘system-risk’ approach being developed and utilised in the Netherlands was given alongside more technical lectures of applications by Rijkswaterstaat and Deltares representatives. A history of strategic developments in the Netherlands was given by Frans Klijn, which was reinforced by seeing the physical structures that have been implemented the next day during the field trip (see figures 1 and 2). This trip included visits to the Pannerden canal, bifurcation point, German dikes and Dutch dike rings, historic dike breach locations, and urban protection measures at Nijmegen.
Tools and serious gaming methods related to system behaviour were introduced during the course with a lecture and demonstration of the critical infrastructure CIRCLE tool (see figure 3), as well as a Delta planning group activity game (see figure 4). This serious game highlighted some of the problems associated with stakeholder planning under uncertainty and built on the ‘decision making under deep uncertainty’ information the group received during the week.
Discussions on the Po River, the flood-task-force and the soft-skills course on Friday ensured the week was not based too heavily on the system in the Netherlands, and the ESRs had opportunities to utilise the facilities and network of experts at Deltares.