Who will get how much water? Conflicting goals of future water distribution in Germany


Water is one of the most important raw materials on earth. But what if it becomes increasingly scarce as a result of climate change and future weather extremes? An interdisciplinary group of scientists is setting out to identify conflicts of interest in the future distribution of water in Germany and to devise possible solutions.

Even in Germany, which is rich in water, local water stress could lead to intensified conflicts of interest in the future, for example between agriculture, industry, energy and water management, and the protection of groundwater and ecosystems. By means of modeling and simulations, researchers want to make interdependencies between the individual sectors and interest groups transparent, and to pinpoint possible conflicts of interest in water usage. Three areas of particular relevance to Germany will be examined here as examples: conflicts of aims in river catchment areas, conflicts in irrigation, and water conflicts in large-scale projects. Participants from the field are to be actively involved in devising and implementing the models and in their evaluation. With the workshop version of a web application, the researchers ultimately want to make the conflict field of water experienceable for all protagonists, in order to enable them to find strategies that both conform with the aims and reduce conflict.

Project coordination
  • Dr. Wolfgang Weimer-Jehle, Center for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Research (ZIRIUS), University of Stuttgart
  • Dr. Hannah Kosow, Center for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Research (ZIRIUS), University of Stuttgart
Project participants
  • Prof. Dr. Dirk Rübbelke, General Economics, in particular Environmental and Resource Economics, Technical University of Freiberg
  • Dr. Stefan Vögele, Institute of Energy and Climate Research – Systems Analysis and Technology Evaluation (IEK-STE), Jülich Research Center



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