The main goal of the research project is the development and assessement of alternative management options in the Havel river basin to improve water quality. The project intends to provide a scientifically sound basis for the derivation of ecological reference states and the classification of water bodies with respect to futures adaptation strategies and development scenarios. Besides methodological tasks including the development, adaptation and coupling of modelling tools (dynamical models, scenario techniques), socio-economic approaches, water-related directives and tools to provide the derived results to various stakeholders will be developed.
The research concepts aims at a river basin management according to the European Water Framework Directive. Following this directive, a 'good condition' of all open water bodies has to be achieved until 2015. This means that the condition is supposed to equal the potential 'undisturbed state' as far as possible. In the present project, the relations between discharge dynamics, trophic and ecologic components are focused. For river sections assumed not to approach the above mentioned 'good' state until 2015, alternative options will be analyzed. In any case, decision support with respect to a realistic management program will be developed for the whole Havel basin.
Since water quality is influenced by various user interests, a variety of aspects like water supply, agricultural use and nature protection will be included in the approach. By this, the conflicts and synergisms between different users will be taken into account in the development of adaptation strategies. In addition, following the aims of sustainable water use, economic and social feedbacks of the developed management options will be included as well.
The investigations are highly innovative, as the Havel represents an almost ideal natural object to study relations between hydrology and water quality in the Elbe lowland. To reach the defined goals modern scientific methods in hydrology, water-related assessement criteria, and practically oriented management options are needed. Innovative aspects relate to (i) the integrative study of feedbacks between biosphere, hydroshpere and antroposphere on one hand and possible management options on the other hand, (ii) analyses of complex development scenarios within a meso-scale region including changing boundary conditions, and (iii) the ecologic and socioeconomic assessement according to the European Water Framework Directive.
The project includes an interdisciplinary group of representatives from scientific institutions, regional water authorities and private firms, which ensures the practical relevance of the intended results. Besides, this concept enhances a transfer of knowledge between all partners. Both the respective stakeholders and the local water users will be included in the evaluation of project results at various levels. Cooperations with institutions in Finland and Denmark will support an international exchange of ideas and results.
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