Helmholtz Water Network

Research Platform 2: Urban Water Resources Management - UWRM


Foto: André Künzelmann, UFZ

Management of urban water and river basins

Urban Resources Management (UWRM) is seen to fill the gap between urban water management, which is usually purely technology focused, and river basin management, which usually does not adequately consider the specific role of urban areas in coupling water and matter fluxes with ecosystem status, functions and services. Furthermore, urban areas and appropriate services for providing drinking water quality and hygienic sanitation are seen as key problems of paramount interest to large parts of the global population. These challenges can only be met, if adequate long-term strategies for urban water resources management are developed and applied.

Research focus

The consideration of urban regions implicates interdisciplinary interfaces between natural water compartments, water infrastructure technology and operation, and economy interpreted as a control option. The focus is on long-term effects on resources quantity and quality, rather than on conventional indicators describing the performance of individual sub-systems.

Work Package 1: The socio-economic system – drivers and water economics

Work Package 2: Technology for long term safeguarding of water resources quality

Work Package 3: Ecosystem services: the downstream boundary of the urban area

Work Package 4: Urban Flooding

Work Package 5: Water and matter fluxes in urban regions


Research within the Helmholtz Association (POF III): 

  • Research Programme: "Terrestrial Environment", Topic: "Sustainable Water Resources Management" (Integrated Project "Healthy Aquatic Ecosystems") (UFZ)
  • Research Programme: "Marine, Coastal and Polar Systems (PACES II)", Work Package "Capacity Development (CSC, HZG, UFZ)
  • Helmholtz Research Initiative „System:Stadt“ (Coordination: KIT, contribution: DLR, FZJ, UFZ, GFZ, HZB, HMGU)



  • Urban Observatory Dresden (TU Dresden, UFZ)
  • TERENO in urban systems (UFZ)

Projects and further activities:

  • Urban Catchments - Managing Water Resources for Urban Catchments (Coordination: UFZ, contribution: TU Dresden)
  • MoMo - Integrated Water Resources Management, Model Region Mongolia (UFZ)
  • SMART -Integrated Water Resource Management in the Lower Jordan Valley (Coordination: University of Göttingen, contributing institutions: KIT, UFZ)
  • Beyond pollutant removal - understanding the biochemical mechanism of sulfonamide degradation in wastewater and the role of ipso-substitution (KIT, EAWAG)
  • Researcher network Eff-Net (contribution: KIT, Univ. Tübingen)
  • KaWaTech Dong Van Karst Plateau, Vietnam (KIT)
  • On-Line Detection, Treatment and Reduction of Biofilm and Chemical Scaling in Irrigation Systems Utilizing Treated Wastewater (KIT)
  • MAnAmO: Application of Anaerobic Ammonium Oxidation in Mainstream Municipal Wastewater Treatment (KIT)
  • Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) in Gunung Kidul, Java, Indonesia (KIT)
  • ESWaT: Entwicklung eines energieeffizienten Abwasserbehandlungsprozesses zur verbesserten Kohlenstoff- und Stickstoff-Elimination in warmen Klimaten (KIT)

Completed projects:

  • Projekt "Urbanes Wasserressourcen-Management" (Coordination: UFZ, TU Dresden)
  • IWAS - International Water Research Alliance Saxony (Coordination: TU Dresden, UFZ, contributing Institutions: KIT, TUM)
  • SuMaRiO - Sustainable Management of River Oases along the Tarim River (Coordination: Universität der Bundeswehr München, contributing institutions: TU Dresden, GFZ)
  • WISDOM - Water Information System For the Mekong (Coordination: DLR, contributing institutions: GFZ, further: UNU-EHS, Univ. Würzburg, ZEF, INRES...)



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07.-09.06.2017: International ICLEA Symposium „Climate Change and Landscape Evolution in North Central Europe“ (GFZ)

04.-18.8.2017 CAWR International Summer School "Network functional dynamics -
Technological, Human & Ecological Dimensions

Direct links:


Dr. Christiane Katterfeld
Phone: +49 391 8109101