The river Elbe in Dresden. Foto: A. Künzelmann

Graduate School Thirsty Cities

Longer-lasting meteorological and hydrological droughts are foreseeable in Germany, with direct implications for the storage and access to water in cities. Furthermore, an increased risk of conflicts over water allocation between urban and rural areas is expected. Within this context, the thematic graduate school Thirsty Cities: Pathways for Water-Resilient Urban Transformation and Agricultural Adaptation was established within the Research Unit “Environment and Society”.

The Graduate School had its kick-off event in June 2021 and it brings together four Ph.D. candidates from the departments of urban and environmental sociology, environmental politics, environmental and planning law, and economics. The four Ph.D. candidates will investigate pathways for enhancing the resilience to water scarcity in Germany. A focus will be given to the impacts of the shortage of freshwater in both urban and rural areas and the assessment of whether current regulatory frameworks are “fit for purpose”. In this vein, Thirsty Cities complements model-driven projections of water scarcity by focusing on the political implications of future water shortages and on solutions on how to manage them.

The structure of Thirsty Cities fosters exchange and joint research activities within and beyond the Research Unit (e.g. AGRI-TRANSFORM) on the emerging topic of water scarcity. It complements existing UFZ research on natural sciences (e.g. drought monitor, water information system) by adding a social sciences perspective. Furthermore, Thirsty Cities will be fully embedded in the HIGRADE program. External collaborations with the Stanford University, Urban Futures Studio and the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), University of Leipzig, among others, will be carried out.


Thirsty Cities Speakers:

Dr. Mariana Madruga de Brito
Tel. +49 0341 235 482149

Prof. Dr. Christian Kuhlicke
Tel. +49 0341 235 1751

Speaker of Research Unit:

Prof. Dr. Bernd Hansjürgens
Tel. +49 341 235 1259 (secretariat)

Manager of Research Unit:

Dr. Christoph Schröter-Schlaack
Tel. +49 341 235 1475