Water is indispensable for all ecological and societal processes. This is felt even more strongly by those people living in water-scarce regions of the world. In such regions, population growth is above-average and accompanied by an exponential increase in the demand for food, water and energy. Even now, one third of today’s global population has insufficient access to clean drinking water. The issue is exacerbated by climate and land-use change as well as the continuous pollution of limited water resources. Are there still untapped water reserves somewhere? To what extent could a more efficient water management and an improved water distribution contribute?
For this reason we are developing observation platforms, methods, models and technologies to balance water reserves, to tap undiscovered sources and to reuse resources such as wastewater. The focus is on the Southern Mediterranean, Middle East and North Africa, and Central Asia, where people are struggling with water scarcity and the overexploitation of natural renewable water resources. Our aim is to develop a scientific base for more efficient management of scarce water resources and therefore to make more out of the little that is available.