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Johannes Graupner

No water without freshwaters

IGB provides feedback on the government draft of the National Water Strategy
A near-natural water cycle, inland waters and their biodiversity are an indispensable basis of life for humans and nature alike. From a research perspective, the IGB therefore explicitly welcomes the development of a National Water Strategy (NWS) for Germany, which should also support existing laws such as the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and the Water Resources Act (WHG) as well as their practical implementation. This is particularly important in view of the large practical implementation deficit of water policy regulations.

Photo by Erich Westendarp on Pixabay 

According to the IGB scientists, the government draft of the NWS, which was available for comment, correctly identifies many of the existing and still developing problems and challenges from a scientific point of view. What is striking, however, is the strong water management perspective on water and water bodies, which focuses less on ecological aspects. 

In the government draft, the concerns of aquatic ecosystems are often summarised under environmental protection or nature conservation in general and considered as one stakeholder (among many) of water management. Since natural aquatic ecosystems and their biodiversity are the basis for all forms of life and use, this approach does not do justice to their relevance.

The integrated consideration of the water cycle, the natural inland waters, biodiversity and the ecosystem services based on them are an absolutely essential basis for a sustainable NWS. This fact should be should be emphasised more strongly in the overall document, according to the researchers.

In addition, the scientists provide feedback on some selected aspects of the NWS government draft:

  • Funding and timeframe
  • Implementation and conflicting goals
  • Research, development and evaluation
  • Inland navigation: expansion and impoundment are not sustainable
  • Hydropower: government does not sufficiently take into account the state of research
  • Aquaculture, inland and angling fisheries: fundamental political and societal questions

The complete IGB feedback (in German) can be downloaded from the GB website.

Contact person

Doris Düthmann

Research Group Leader
Research group
Ecohydrological Modelling and Hydrological Change

Jörg Lewandowski

Research Group Leader
Research group
Ground Water-Surface Water Interactions

Michael Hupfer

Research Group Leader
Research group
Biogeochemical Processes in Sediments and Lake Management

Sabine Hilt

Research Group Leader
Research group
Aquatic-Terrestrial Coupling and Regime Shifts

Sonja Jähnig

Head of Department
Research group
Aquatic Ecogeography

Martin Pusch

Programme Area Speaker
Research group
Functional Ecology and Management of Rivers and Lake Shores

Robert Arlinghaus

Research Group Leader
Research group
Integrative Recreational Fisheries Management

Jörn Gessner

Research Group Leader
Research group
Reintroduction of the European Sturgeon to Germany

Werner Kloas

Guest Scientist
Research group
Aquaponics and Ecophysiology

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