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Department of Spatial Planning
Research project

RENUWAS - Resilient management of conflicts of use in the water supply in Herten

Project duration: 08/2023 to 04/2026

Dealing with water shortage in a changing world is one of the greatest challenges facing society in Germany. Not only since the enormous damage caused by the three consecutive summers of drought from 2018 to 2020 has the topic enjoyed a high priority in politics, practice and the general public. For the future, numerous studies warn of a further increase in drought events and the associated economic, social, cultural and ecological risks and damage.

The RENUWAS project aims to close knowledge gaps in dealing with the issue of water shortage and to identify practice-oriented approaches and measures using the example of the city of Herten, which acts as a practice partner in the project. This also refers in particular to the manifold conflicts of use that are to be expected in the event of acute water shortages in the city; this already shows that the problem only needs to be dealt with in an integrated manner and not separately by sector.

Corresponding to the objectives and derived from the analysis, a two-track strategy is being developed: On the one hand, the aim is to improve the available water supply as a precautionary measure and at the same time to reduce the demand for water in order to avoid shortage situations as far as possible. For this purpose, practical workshops are being held to develop the strategy and measures; the measures are being tested in two simulation games.

In Herten, the consequences of the water shortage that has persisted since 2018 were particularly noticeable. Agriculture was and is particularly affected by the lack of rainfall and the high temperatures. In addition, there was increased drought stress on urban green and open spaces. The city has a high self-interest in the use of the project results; in addition to the development of specific measures in urban renewal areas, essential project results are incorporated into municipal plans.

Funding programme "Measures for Adaptation to Climate Change" of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV)
Cooperation Partner City of Herten