Water for All. And in the future?!

12-13 November 2020

About the Event

The Anthropocene is challenging us. The impacts of climate change are increasingly noticeable in Bavaria. Changing precipitation patterns, declining groundwater tables across the State, extreme local flash floods, prolonged droughts, and heatwaves pose significant challenges for water management and agriculture. In addition, there is growing pressure from a growing number of microbiological and chemical substances adversely affecting water quality, which increasingly blurs the line between protected and impaired water resources. Water management must urgently react to these developments.

Which direction this development may take and what options might be effective is subject to an ongoing debate. Our current system is characterized by large-scale or path-dependent processes and structures (such as rapid collection and conveyance of water via drainage systems or Bavaria’s more decentralized structure of water supply and wastewater treatment and disposal). How can these systems adapt to rapidly changing conditions? How can water local retention and storage in the subsurface be ensured during phases of ample precipitation while providing a safe supply during times of droughts? What alternative water resource are conceivable for use, including public drinking water supply, maintaining minimum ecological discharge, irrigation and cooling water needs, or navigation? In lieu of raising conflicts over water, are we at a juncture in moving from ‘Supply-Management’ to ‘Demand-Management’? Are conventional approaches on both sides – supply and demand – sufficient, or should new, unconventional solutions be considered? What could they look like and how quickly could these be implemented? What course of action has to be taken today to enable different approaches in the future?

Inviting participants from science, administration and representatives of municipalities, agriculture and water management, the workshop aims at developing a common vision and ideas for solutions.

[The event was held in German]