With the concept of river basin management (RBM), the European Water Framework Directive (EC WFD) divides water management activities in reference areas, the hydrologically defined river basins. In this context, water management has the challenge to record and evaluate many influences from our cultural landscape and from change processes like climate change and demographic change. The overall goal is to manage water bodies and their catchment areas in a way that a good ecological status according to the EC WFD will be reached. FiW works here on topics at the connecting point between integral urban drainage and water bodies, using a comprehensive and integral management approach. The department works successfully with the forces of an interdisciplinary and committed team.
CLIMATE CHANGE & WATER MANAGEMENT
Drought and extreme heavy rainfall are the main challenges related to climate change for water bodies, landscapes and cities. These two extreme events need smart solutions. In 2018, lakes overturned and many farmers had painful crop losses. With the second summer of drought in 2019, even mature beech trees and other leaf trees, that we believed to be robust, died because of the ongoing drought and the missing refill of groundwater reservoirs.
In this context, solutions for adapting to the consequences of climate change are needed even faster than predicted in the beginning. Who will get the water when it becomes little? Are we prepared against terrible flash floods in our settlements? How can we raise awareness for self-provision and public welfare-oriented action in stressful situations?
DIGITALISATION, MODELLING & ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
Water management wants an overall sustainable and durable use of water. In this context, the FiW is working on solutions for more digitalisation in water management. Increasing data density by recording as much relevant and high-resolution data as possible, is the basis for the necessary understanding of systems and processes. The processing of water management data is mainly done by geographic information systems (GIS). These can make large amounts of data (big data) available as usable information of an area - an essential requirement for complex modelling and feeding into systems based on new methods of analysis of so-called artificial intelligence like neural networks and deep learning processes.
The FiW uses GIS tools and models in many projects. In the process, geobasic data are collected and put into value to have the basis for Big Data analyses. In addition, complex models are used to increase the information density of systems to make planning processes and optimisations possible. In modelling, the team works with hydrological, hydrodynamic and coupled modelling to analyse different flooding, high water and drought scenarios and to describe adapted actions to take. In current research and development projects, we use new methods like artificial intelligence and machine learning to get new insights from large amounts of data and to produce new data. For knowledge transfer and target group-specific communication, we use new and innovative methods and media like virtual and augmented reality, 3D‑ printing and WebGIS.
TECHNOLOGY & METHOD DEVELOPMENT UP TO THE LIMITS
In this field, we offer consulting services for the evaluation of inputs, behavior, fate and elimination of pollutants. We develop strategies for sustainable water protection and support clients in monitoring concepts and action planning along the water cycle. We want to make sure that drinking water production will be safe also in the future, with treatment processes close to nature. The current focus of our research is on organic trace substances, nitrate and salts.
Groundwater is the most important water resource for drinking water production in many countries. Due to long residence times in the subsurface, forward-looking groundwater, management is even more dependent on integrated forecasting, control and decision-making tools (Water Management 4.0), than in other specialist areas. It will help to evaluate the effect of today's decisions on future groundwater quantity and quality.
Worldwide, groundwater management is looking at big challenges like dramatically falling groundwater levels, groundwater pollution and entering of saltwater. Therefore, we are looking for solutions in groundwater recharge (Managed Aquifer Recharge) and water reuse.
The allocation of costs, based on the polluter pays principle, ensures sustainable conceptsmore
Future-oriented technologies and services for a sustainable land managementmore
Innovative technologies for the reduction of water-related diseasesmore
Property protection and structural precautionsmore
Strategic decision support tool for adaptation to climate change on a regional and municipal level in the Rhine areamore
Sustainable technologies and services for climate change adaptation in flood and drought-prone settlements in Ghanamore
Going to the bottom of the watermore
High-precision measurement technology for standing and flowing watersmore
Water management investigations and application of digital sealing data from official real estate cadastre datamore