Water Management Adaption Strategies to Climate Change - WASKlim

Sponsored by the Federal Environmental Agency

Period of Sponsorship: October 2007 - September 2009

Contact: Timo Heinisch



In 2005 the government decided - within the framework of the National Climate Protection Program – the development of a national adaptation strategy. Water management and all respective questions are of special importance, since the components of the water cycle have a high sensitivity to climate change. Water management itself is one of the highest vulnerable areas in Germany (Zebisch et al. 2005). For the development of adaptation strategies of water management it is furthermore necessary to involve all water relevant questions of other sectors, for example agriculture, forestry, drinking water supply, power generation, inland navigation, settlements development, infrastructure and tourism.


Objectives and Methods

Sponsored within the Environmental Research Planning of the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Protection and Reactor Security (UFOPLAN Nr. 3707 41 105) and realized on behalf of the Federal Environmental Agency, it is the task of WASKlim (www.wasklim.de) to support the development process of the German adaptation strategy according to climate change. Therefore the evaluation of a survey of the Federation, federal states and associations by the BMU was conducted in summer 2007. The aim of this survey was - among others - to evaluate the sectoral and regional concernment of the climate consequences and already realized adaptation measures. The results of this questionnaire evaluation will be specified and focused within a Delphi-Group (Mintroff und Turoff 1975, Renn und Webler 1998) for the sectors “water/water resources/concerned sectors”. The conference “German Adaptation Strategies to the climate changes – expectations, objectives and activity options” takes place in Berlin for a better identification of possible activities and strategy development. The most important target of this conference is to get impulses from public specialists according to expectations and objectives for the German Adaptation Strategy and to identify next steps and activities. Furthermore a concrete method for defining the assimilation capacity and vulnerability shall be developed within the WASKlim for water management. Since those terms cannot be captured with exact mathematic relations, the already successfully applied Fuzzy-Logic method (Disse et al. 2007a, b) is offered by the Universität der Bundeswehr München (Institute for Hydro Sciences). The installation of a complex fuzzy based policy for a better decision-making allows to quantify the consequences of changed climate coordinates and anthropogenic measures.


Unfocused terms like „few“, „rather“ or „many“ can be integrated into this policy through so-called “membership functions”. This way even unfocused expert knowledge can be integrated - besides mathematic functions – into this matrix. This decision-making support system will first be developed and tested for 3 project areas in Germany. These are the upper reaches of the Iller (Bavaria, Alps/Alpine Foothills), the Wupper (North-Rhine Westphalia, low mountain range) and the Salza (Saxony-Anhalt, arid region). The WASKlim project areas were chosen due to their current intensive and potential exploitation conflicts between water resources management and other sectors. Within the development of the decision-making support system model simulations of the water supply of the project areas will be carried out with the help of the water balance model WaSiM-ETH (Schulla und Jasper 2007), including scenario simulations up to the year 2100. Based on those results adaptation concepts for the water resources management for the 3 project areas shall be developed. This will help to avoid real exploitation conflicts in consequence of climate change. Furthermore it is expected to contribute to investment and planning decisions for the Water Resources Planning regarding different future general conditions.


Project Partners

The management of the project, public relations and organisation of expert conferences and workshops is done by the Consulting Office UDATA (www.udata.de). Project Manager of WASKlim is Dr. Jörg Scherzer (Dipl. Geoecol., sector Hydrology). The experts of UDATA for hydrology, geo-ecology and environmental science will deal furthermore with the topic of “sensitivity and development tendencies of water resources components” and will realize water resources simulations for the project areas with WaSiM-ETH.

The questions to vulnerability of water exploitation within the context of general social conditions and the respective adaptation strategies to climate change will be developed by a working team led by Prof. Dr. Disse (Chair for Water Management and Resources Engineering, Universität der Bundeswehr München, http://www.unibw.de/ifw/WWR/) and supported by Prof. Dr. Jacoby (Chair for Construction Project Management and Regional Development of UniBwM, http://www.unibw.de/ivr/strassenwesen/raumplanung).

The non-profit society for communications and cooperation research mbH (www.dialogik-expert.de) DIALOGIK, managing director Prof. Dr. Ortwin Renn (Chair for environmental and technique sociology at the university in Stuttgart) will support the development process to the national adaptation strategies to climate change.


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