Regional Water Resources Management for Sustainable Protection of Waters in Germany (ReWaM)
The funding measure “Regional Water Resources Management for Sustainable Protection of Waters in Germany” (ReWaM) deals with the exploration, testing and implementation of new approaches in water resources management. The overall goal is the development of new methods, innovative tools, and foundations for decision-making.
Growing cities, changes in land use, pollution and the effects of climate change: In many regions of the world, measures urgently need to be taken to safeguard the quality, availability and long-term protection of surface- and groundwater resources. This is why one of Germany's most pressing challenges in the coming years will be the sustainable management of water resources, while factoring in ongoing developments in nature and society.
Water resource managers need knowledge, information, and foundations for decision-making which are geared towards practical application so that they can cope with conflicts of use in water management, while at the same time safeguarding the ability of water systems to provide environmental services. There are no universal panaceas for this: Success therefore also depends on whether appropriate approaches and strategies can be found which succeed in uniting all the regional players and the general public behind the goal of sustainable water resources management. In order to achieve the targets laid down by the European Water Framework Directive (WFD) and permanently align water resources management in Germany with those targets, municipal, state and federal bodies need new planning tools and regional decision-making processes. These need to be developed and spearheaded by the scientific community, in collaboration with water resource managers on the ground.
Against this backdrop, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has launched the funding measure "Regional Water Resources Management for Sustainable Protection of Waters in Germany" (ReWaM). Till 2019, the BMBF is funding 15 joint projects and an associated networking and transfer project. ReWaM is part of the BMBF funding priority "Sustainable Water Management" (NaWaM) within the framework programme "Research for Sustainable Development" (FONA³).
Through ReWaM, the NaWaM topical focus area "Water and the Environment" will be underpinned by research geared towards practical application. All ReWaM projects are transdisciplinary. The BMBF is supporting a total of 101 subprojects which are being implemented by research, business and water management institutions in approximately equal parts.
All ReWaM projects address the diverse challenges of regional water resources management in model regions. The model regions and study sites are located throughout the entire Federal Republic of Germany.
ReWaM's goal is to show how the various kinds of usage of water bodies can be reconciled with their protection, so that the diversity and environmental performance of different aquatic ecosystems can be permanently preserved. This applies not only to rural, but also to suburban and urban regions. The insights gained are expected to help the water industry with its work and lay the groundwork for new methods, innovative tools, and foundations for decision-making.