Use & Management

Freshwaters are used in many ways: as a drinking water supply, for industrial transportation and for recreation. All these functions, also referred to as ecosystem services, can only be ensured if rivers and lakes are in a good ecological state. Since its introduction in 2002, the Water Framework Directive has called for just that. And yet water is a scarce resource in many regions of the world. The growing pressure caused by mining, industry, hydroelectric power production and agriculture affects water quality and the passage of freshwaters. At IGB, we develop concepts for the future-oriented management of freshwater resources for the welfare of humans and nature. We investigate how anthropogenic influences affect freshwaters, and how lakes, flowing waters and wetlands can be used sustainably and revitalised efficiently.

Related News

short news

Too many aquatic plants in the lake?

For several years, scientists and swimmers have observed a great increase in the number of aquatic plants in the Müggelsee. Whoever looks closely, also sees that the lake is currently very clear.
press release

Research on an equal footing promotes sustainability

A socio-ecological experiment with anglers shows that the ecological competencies are thus improved and ecological actions are encouraged among users and managers of natural resources.

Related Projects


Our surface and groundwaters struggle with a variety of different pressures, like water shortage, flow regulation, straightening or sediment and nutrient loading. The project MARS analyses how the combination of these stressors impacts aquatic ecosystems and their functions.
Contact person
Markus Venohr
(Dept. 1) Ecohydrology
(Dept. 3) Experimental Limnology
(Dept. 4) Biology and Ecology of Fishes


The SMART Joint Doctorate focuses on the core areas of natural and engineering sciences relevant to the sustainable management of river systems from their headwaters to estuaries. SMART aims to provide education and research at PhD level by offering a 3-year programme within the Erasmus Mundus action. It adopts a multidisciplinary, multi-scale approach that integrates relevant aspects of the physical, chemical and biological sciences, including relevant theory, monitoring and modelling.
Contact person
Ina Severin
Franz Hölker
(Dept. 1) Ecohydrology
(Dept. 2) Ecosystem Research
(Dept. 5) Ecophysiology and Aquaculture
(Dept. 6) Chemical Analytics and Biogeochemistry

Related Downloads

Light at Night Done Right (LoNNe statement)

A user guide for outdoor illumination, respecting the environment, our health and taxpayers' money.

Allow the Night to Show Its Beauty (LoNNe statement)

Practical recommendations for illumination in nature parks.

Loss of the Night

Transdisciplinary Research on Light Pollution

Experts at IGB

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