Water and matter flux dynamics in catchments

We are most fortunate here in Germany and in most parts of Europe: thanks to sufficient water resources, sufficient precipitation and cutting-edge research and technology, our drinking water is clean, safe and affordable. But just how secure is this for the future, if matter flux dynamics change due to climate- and land-use change (e.g. through more intensive agricultural systems), enabling more nutrients to enter the water cycle?

Consequently, we are investigating water and matter flux dynamics in entire river catchments. We assume that spatial and temporal patterns of water-bound matter fluxes are controlled by the heterogeneity of catchment areas, specific functional zones as well as the dynamics of water flows and retention times. We need to be able to understand and quantify, when, where and how matter fluxes are mobilised, transported and converted. Only then, will we be able to predict the impacts that this will have on our surface waters and groundwater and come up with appropriate avoidance and mitigation strategies.

Further information about the Integrated Project "Catchment Dynamics":