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Water Management

The balance of water flow and water quality in the region’s numerous rivers, lakes and wetlands is fragile due to low levels of precipitation brought about by climate change and altered use. Water shortages and the associated water quality problems already exist in many catchment areas, particularly in the summer half of the year. Surface water and groundwater levels have already decreased due to climate change. This could lead to regional shortages and, thus probably, to conflicts over water use. The increase in heavy rain events causes major water quality problems in urban areas involving additional pressures on the sewerage system. The discharge of contaminated waste water into receiving waters exacerbates problems with water quality in connection with reduced water flow.

In INKA BB, water management systems are being developed for small catchment areas, for Spreewald (a large wetland area) and for the entire upper Spree catchment area. The focus is on adapting management systems to reduced water availability and the associated problems with quality. Land users’ changed and partially conflicting requirements are also taken into consideration. Special emphasis is placed on water retention with efficient management systems and new control mechanisms in connection with climate change.

Water retention and quality problems also affect numerous lakes in Brandenburg. Here, difficulties brought about by climate change are identified, taking the example of three types of lake, and measures to preserve and enhance the status of these lakes are proposed.

The shift of precipitation to winter poses new challenges for the supply of drinking water. For this reason, a rain water stock management and groundwater replenishment system for Berlin is being tested. New concepts of municipal water management in rural areas ensure that waste water is no longer discharged into receiving waters, thus keeping it in the region.

In the “Technologies for water retention in landscapes” technical working group, results and findings are brought together, providing the basis for supraregional measures.