HOT Research
Research Initiative "Water and Security"

Research Initiative "Water and Security"

Led by:  B. Roth, M. Wollweber
Team:  A.-K. Kniggendorf
Year:  2011

By creating this research initiative, strategies and measures for the prevention and control of floods, drought and environmental degradation will be developed and implemented. This is an especially interdisciplinary research initiative at the forefront of scince, with participants from many different faculties.

The central question is the relationship between water and security - threats, risk and vulnerability. Water is a scarce commodity, but a vital resource. What will the future availability of water look like? Climate change and globalization are influencing water requirements and water quality worldwide. Within this research initiative experts will shed light on both technical and socio-demographic aspects of water and security, precisely what makes this initiative unique.

More about HOT's project within this research initiative.

Central challenges and goals

In this interdisciplinary research project, the main issues are those that combine water and security. This includes investigations into and early warning of flooding as well as the opposite - droughts. Which environmental dangers go hand in hand with water? The range of projects goes from impurities in drinking water and toxic residue in sewage to soil erosion by water. There are projects about nutrient influx and the ground water problem but also about securing water quality and the development of new analysis techniques.

An entirely different area of the project water and security are the lifelines. These are systems and installation that keep our industrialized society alive and running. That includes:

  • communications
  • energy supply
  • logistics infrastructure (ports, airports, motorways, traffic systems... )
  • water supply

A further focus of the research consortium is the investigation of climate change and its impact on water supplies. Will there be an increasing number of conflicts about water? Will these be mere distribution conflicts (e.g. whether more water is allocted to biofuels or food crops?), or will there be international conflicts over water supplies?

Securing peaceful cooperation and synergies between different water users on all levels in necessary, and also a supra-national secure water supply and supra-national fluvile area management. In these areas, this project will provide a first approach.