Thematic Field 3: Urban Water Systems

Processes and dynamics of matter fluxes in the urban system

Speaker: Peter Krebs (TUD), Dietrich Borchardt (UFZ/TUD)

KF3 Foto:
André Künzelmann, UFZ
Urban regions put pressure on water resources, link matter, energy and water fluxes and pollute water bodies and the environment. The entire system is extremely complex due to the diversity of substances that get into the water cycle through different routes and with different dynamics, as well as through feedback effects. To map interactions of the urban technical system with used or contaminated resources, system borders need to be extended and the interaction of water in the city and its surroundings understood as urban water resources management (UWRM).
The upcoming problems in water management cannot be solved by an isolated water supply or from a wastewater discharge perspective. Instead, problem-solving approaches must consider all the mechanisms of the urban agglomeration and its environment.

The competences of this thematic field at the Center for Advanced Water Research cover the following fields:

  1. Analysis of systems and matter fluxes: Fundamental description of the complex urban water resource system with interactions between technological and natural compartments.
  2. Development of infrastructure and optimization of technological systems operations and interfaces to the natural compartments.
  3. „Urban observatories” that are continuously in operation will be set up and operated within the Center for Advanced Water Research. The transport- and turnover processes of ecologically-relevant substances in wastewater and rainwater are analysed within the observatories reaching from the rainwater input, the drainage and sewage systems into watercourses and the groundwater.
  4. Dynamic models from the fields of urban water management systems, groundwater and surface water with increasing spatial and temporal resolutions will be further developed and improved by research groups at the Center for Advanced Water Research.
  5. Concepts for the technological and natural systems will be brought together by using evaluation concepts such as sustainability, resilience, adaptability or water footprint.

Current projects:


Completed projects: