DryRivers – Goals, Requirements, Strategies and Tools for a sustainable Low-Flow-Risk-Management


Key Data

Goal: Development of a tool to support authorities in Low-Flow-Risk-Management

Method: Development of the management tool LoFloDes

Duration: 02/2022 – 01/2025

Partners: 5



Description and Goals

Low flow at the river Elbe near Magdeburg Copyright: © HS-M

Due to climate change, low-flow situations occur more frequently in Germany, with far-reaching consequences for industry, environment and civil society. Ecosystems, process water and even drinking water supply may be affected during such drought periods. In the case of a reactive approach, possible measures that are only discussed during the low-flow period may lead to conflicts between different stakeholders, especially if the amount of water allocation has to be prioritized within them. To date there is a lack of suitable proactive solution strategies and supporting tools which would allow the development of structured mitigation plans adjusted to the scenario dependent needs of all stakeholders.

The research project BMBF-DryRivers (external link: https://wax-dryrivers.h2.de/) aims to develop a management tool to effectively and transparently support authorities in low-flow risk management.

  Low water on the Rhine near Cologne Copyright: © IWW

The interactions between groundwater (GW) and surface water (OW) have a significant influence on the water balance during low water (e.g. in rivers). In order to enable a numerical model/simulation of these processes, the IWW is developing a groundwater module that will be coupled with the software ProMaIDes (external link: https://promaides.h2.de/promaides/ ). The final coupled software tool LoFloDes (Low Flow Decision Support) can then be used for numerical modelling of the flow processes between groundwater and surface water. Based on the application of LoFloDes (Low Flow Decision Support) for the Rur catchment (North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany), the final tool will be used in the scope of a first pilot study. The results of this pilot study will then be used for the development of risk management and risk communication strategies and the identification of suitable low-flow mitigation measures.


Partners and funding

The following partners are involved in the research project:

  • Department of Water, Environment, Construction and Safety / Department of Economics (Hochschule Magdeburg-Stendal)
  • Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Ressources Management (RWTH Aachen)
  • Institute of Sociology (RWTH Aachen)
  • Environmental Office essen Bolle and Partner GbR
  • LimnoPlan - Fish- and Water Body Ecology

The joint project DryRivers is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) under the funding code 02WEE1628B by the Project Executing Organization Karlsruhe (PTKA) at KIT, Karlsruhe within the framework program "Water-Research and Water-Innovations for Sustainability” (Wasser-N). In addition, the project is one of 12 collaborative projects in the funding priority “Hydrological extreme events” (WaX).

Logo Hochschule Magdeburg-Stendal Logo Limnoplan Logo Umweltbüro Essen Logo STO RWTH