Due to climate change, the Emscher region is expected to face increased challenges from low flows and drought in the coming decades. Low water flows and, in extreme cases, even dry waterfalls not only impair important ecological and hydrological quality parameters of the Emscher and its tributaries in the long term: the drought period in summer 2018 has shown what effects can be expected in the short term.
Low flows and drought bring new challenges for various sectors. This requires adaptation strategies, planning processes, technological solutions and new management concepts for affected water bodies. In addition to cooperation between the affected sectors, an important success factor is the coordination of various processes.
The target group of the workshop were participants from nature conservation, urban water management, river maintenance, agriculture and forestry, as well as landscape, urban and regional planning who are concerned with planning and strategic issues in their field of expertise.
The workshop focused on the following objectives:
- Identification of challenges caused by low flows and drought in the Emscher region
- Sharing experiences on challenges and solutions in other regions, taking the example of water scarcity in Switzerland
- Identification and discussion of possible solutions for coordination of low flow management and water resource management in the Emscher region
Jenny Tröltzsch and Ulf Stein gave an introduction to the workshop and presented possible solutions and instruments for cross-sector coordination in the Emscher region.
The workshop was conducted within the research project STEER (Increasing Good Governance for Achieving the Objectives of Integrated Water Resources Management).