Water Management and Water Resources Protection Law

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In the field of water management and the protection of water resources, the department is concerned
primarily with the integrated water resources management (IWRM) approach and its legal implementation at international, European and national level. Internationally, we deal with the development of principles of international law and minimum standards in the management of transboundary waters as well as with the development of institutional concepts and instruments for overcoming not only global but also regionspecific barriers to the IWRM approach. The worsening problem of water scarcity in many regions of the world is at the forefront of our work. At European level, we are primarily concerned with the implementation of the Water Framework Directive, giving special attention to the specification of the quality objectives, the application of the exemption regime, and the handling of the polluter-pays principle and the cost recovery principle.

Linking water law effectively to the relevant adjacent regulatory areas, namely nature conservation and agriculture law, flood control law and regional planning law is another important focus of our work, especially with regard to national law. An important perspective for achieving this, gained mainly from our interdisciplinary cooperation with the field of scientific water research, is that of the landscape water regime. The department also deals with urban water management law and examines to what extent the existing regulatory framework can promote sustainable adaptation to demographic change and climate change conditions.