Water must remain secure in the future in sufficient quantities and in the required quality for humans and the natural environment.
To make sure this happens, we have to understand how the water cycle is functioning on the local, regional and global levels. We require science-based knowledge about how the quantity and quality of the groundwater and surface waters are affected by natural and human impacts, if we are to develop strategies for a sustainable water management that can be implemented in selected regions around the world.
Water is essential for all life on Earth. To achieve sustainable development, societies, the economy and the living environment (terrestrial ecosystems) all need freshwater in sufficient quantity and quality. Climate change, extreme weather events, the global population growth and international markets are all factors that exert direct and indirect pressure on natural water resources. Impacts are regionally very diverse, ranging from extreme water scarcity to high chemical loads or even new kinds of micropullutants.
The UN has adopted the goal "Clean Water and Sanitation" on its "2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development".
With its European Water Directive, the EU has already set a clear goal for the sustainable development of water resources. Moreover, the United Nations has adopted the topic "Clean Water and Sanitation" on its "2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development". Politics, economics and science in industrialised nations as well as in developing countries all share the responsibility for implementing and achieving these goals.
How exactly does mankind use and alter the groundwater, lakes and rivers? How are the water cycle and ecosystems connected? Under which conditions can water bodies regenerate themselves? When is technological assistance required? How can the socio-economic and climate change processes affecting our water resources be analysed?