Skip to main content

Sustainable Management of the Landscape Water Balance to Increase Climate Resilience (KliMaWerk)

© Justin Wilkens | Unsplash


Sustainable Management of the Landscape Water Balance to Increase Climate Resilience (KliMaWerk)

Management and tools


Current situation and problem relevance

Due to climate change, extreme weather events are increasing in frequency and intensity in Germany. Heavy rainfall events but also prolonged drought and heat have serious impacts on the landscape water balance as well as the condition and ecosystem services of flowing waters.

In aquatic ecology and water management, the joint effects of extreme situations such as heavy rainfall and drought have so far received little attention and require further development of guiding principles, assessment systems and management concepts.

Holistic view of the landscape water balance

In KliMaWerk, integrated measures and strategies are developed to increase hydrological and ecological resilience for watercourses affected by climate change. Special consideration is given to low-flow and drying situations, alternating with heavy rainfall events. The ecological functions of the water bodies as well as competing water body uses are taken into account through the integrated consideration of an entire water body catchment area. What is new here is the holistic view of the landscape water balance, instead of a narrow focus on individual spatial elements or individual user groups.

Specific objectives of the project are:

  • the development of strategies to increase hydrological and ecological resilience for streams affected by climate change with a holistic view on the landscape water balance;
  • the creation of a toolbox for the selection of integral management strategies and adapted measures for the establishment of a sustainable landscape water balance, as well as for the prediction of the effects of measures on the condition of water bodies;
  • the development of generally applicable automated software coupling of surface water and groundwater modeling as a basis for water-related planning in the context of climate change
  • the provision of recommendations for dealing with low water and drought, taking into account types and intensities of use in rural and urban catchments.

Application of the developed tools will increase resilience to varying extreme weather situations and generate societal value by ensuring sustainable landscape water management.

Project partners and role of Ecologic Institute

The project is led by Lippeverband and consists of nine partners from universities, planning offices and research institutions. Ecologic Institute leads the preparation of coupled action and land use scenarios and is responsible for conducting stakeholder workshops. It also analyzes governance processes and instruments and contributes to the elaboration of practice-relevant recommendations. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the Research for Sustainability (FONA) strategy.


Paul-Erik Wilms
Johanna Reineke
Project ID
drought, heavy rainfall, climate resilience, climate change, streams, sustainability, land use scenarios, participation, aquatic ecology, water management, ecosystem services
Germany, North Rhine-Westphalia