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Drought and Water Use Conflicts in Germany

Drought and Water Use Conflicts in Germany

The project investigates the effects of drought and aridity on the amount of water available in Germany. Water scarcity and the associated conflicts of use are increasing in many places, but not only because of climate change. The project provides an overview of the current availability of water in Germany and forecasts emerging conflicts of use and solution strategies.

The following questions will be answered:

  • What are current and expected future developments of the potential water supply, soil moisture and groundwater availability? In which Regions are future "hotspots" for meteorological drought?
  • Which water use conflicts currently exist in Germany? Which developments are to be expected in the future?
  • What are suitable measures and instruments for dealing with conflicts of use? What is the experience to date with individual selected instruments? What are Challenges in the implementation in practice?
  • How can a coupling of instruments look like? How can a decision making and prioritization of uses in water-related conflicts of use? How can we build on the experiences of other countries?
  • What role can the reuse of treated wastewater for irrigation be play in cities? What are the potentials for different types of cities? What are the dangers? What form can risk management take?

Ecologic Institute leads work package 1 Project Management and work package 3 Dealing with Conflicts of Use. The aim of work package 3 is to analyze current and future water use conflicts in Germany and to develop measures that can contribute to the management of conflicts of use. The work focuses on conflicts of use due to water quantity. The following questions are the focus of the analysis in work package 3:

  • Which water use conflicts currently exist in Germany? Which sectors are particularly affected? In which seasons do which conflicts of use occur?
  • How will water use conflicts develop in the future under the effects of climate change? What influence do socio-economic developments, such as demographic change?
  • How can the threat of drought in water supply areas be systematically be recorded? What data is available? How can data gaps be closed become?
  • Which measures and instruments are suitable to avoid conflicts over water use? avoid or limit? What challenges arise during application?
  • Can concrete measures, such as water use concepts, water advisory boards or measures for water retention in the area contribute to reducing the conflicts of use to and establish a governance system?
  • Which rules for decision making and prioritization of uses in water-related conflicts of use can be resolved by municipalities or groups of municipalities be recommended by the federal government?

Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin), Germany
Fresh Thoughts (Fresh Thoughts), Austria
Forschungszentrum Jülich (Jülich), Germany
October 2020 to September 2023
Project ID
drought, aridness, climate change, conflicts of use, modeling, groundwater, Germany