Film and Water Event

Let’s Talk About Water 2015

Western Europe
Delft, The Netherlands

Let’s Talk About Water is a program designed to bring film and hydrologic science together to spark meaningful dialogue amongst scientists, students and the greater public.

Three feature films will be shown on three consecutive days at Filmhuis Lumen in Delft, this year all focusing on floods, flooding, and Disaster Risk Management, as well as infrastructure and mobility in times of flood:

In addition, the Workshop Film, Scientific Visualizations & Water will be hosted at UNESCO-IHE on Friday, February 20, 10:30 AM – 13:30 PM [free admission]

Filmhuis Delft Programme

Geographically we travel from Greenland to the South Pacific in ThuleTuvalu and a present-day look at how climate change, glacial melt and sea level rise affects two different cultures 2500 miles apart. 

At a continental scale with The Great Flood by Bill Morrison (Friday night) we go back in time to look at flooding that rocked the US continent, when the Mississippi floodwaters erupted over the course of two years in 1927 and 1928 — with black and white stock footage edged with nitrate deterioration from the period and set to an exquisite jazz score by Bill Frisell. The displacement and migrations of thousands of people affected the racial, economic and musical history of the United States. This film will preceeded by a talk by Dr. Kees Sloff (Delft University of Technology/Deltares), winner of Changing Course, a design competition to reimagine a more sustainable Lower Mississippi River Delta.

On Saturday afternoon we will go from global and continental scales to one location —Mexico City— a magnificent city built on an ancient lake. H2O mx shows it is suffering from flooding in a watershed closed off from the sea, draining its aquifers for drinking water for a parched population and starting to sink into its historic lakebed.

Workshop Film, Scientific Visualizations & Water

Friday February 20, 10:30-13:30, UNESCO-IHE, Auditorium A1

Morning Programme 10:30-12:30

  • Linda Lilienfeld – Director of Let’s Talk About Water
    Role of historic film in water science
  • Lenneke Knoop – Business Development and Communication, The Water Channel
    Role of short films and spots about water, featuring clips from "I shouldn't be alive" 
  • William Veerbeek, Kim Anema, Jiya Benni – Reseachers Flood Resilience Group, UNESCO-IHE
    Breaking the waves, busting Hollywood's myths
  • Gennadii Donchyts – Senior Advisor/Research, Deltares
    The power of dynamic earth surface water visualizations / simulation software tools
  • Fedor Baart - Deltares/TU Delft
    Tides of Alcatraz - 3Di Reconstruction of the Great Escape

Lunch Seminar 12:45-13:30

  • Wytze Schuurmans/Elgard van Leeuwen - 3Di Consortium
    3Di is a new versatile water management instrument that supports operational water management, calamity management and spatial planning. The 3Di instrument carries out dynamic hydraulic computations, but  these computations are extremely fast and allow for interactive modelling. 3Di is easy to use by non-experts thanks to the web based user interface. In the workshop we will demonstrate 3Di applications in Vietnam and the Philippines. Participants are also invited to make simulations themselves using a Touch Table.

As a film and picture researcher for 40(!) years, specializing in science and history, Linda Lilienfeld believes in the power of an image to tell a story and move people. With climate change affecting weather patterns and sea level rise, the lives of many people are at risk. In the old days, film could be used for story telling or propaganda – to advise people about soil erosion due to flooding or the importance of the building of big dams. But we have entered a new era where the hydrologic images that can be created by computer technology are based on actual scientific computation and linked to “place” by GIS. 

These new tools (experimental simulation software) collectively called “Dynamic Earth Surface Water Visualizations” can sometimes be 100 times faster and more detailed than existing models. For example “3Di area models can quite literally map out water flows and the effects of flooding, heavy precipitation and drought, which enables decision makers and civilians to visualize the impact of various climate scenarios and create solutions under extreme pressure.”

Quote from the Deltares brochure about San Francisco Bay – Delta Community Model: “There is a need for open access, publicly available, integrated modeling platforms to facilitate and enhance interdisciplinary and interagency scientific communication, collaboration and understanding, to face developments due to climate change and management strategies.”

With this workshop there is an attempt to put these great accomplishments in the context of our mutual visual histories.


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