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Research project 'Analysis of Potentially New Themes in Water Management - Future Trends and Research Needs'

Water resources management has become an important theme on the scientific and political agendas. The importance of the international dimension and impacts of global change have moved in the centre of attention. Numerous national and international programs have addressed water related themes.

The German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has funded several major research programs on Integrated Water Resources Management and Global Change. The goal of this study is to make recommendations for promising future research themes by analysing the international water research and policy landscape and by taking stock of recent achievements. The study has thus the following objectives:

  • Provide an overview of recent and emerging developments in topical research areas in the field of water resources of high scientific and political relevance.
  • Evaluate research themes with respect to their potential for scientific breakthroughs, political impact and suitability for the German water community.
  • Develop recommendations for a future research programme of the BMBF.

The project is divided into two research phases. Result of the first research phase is a weighted list based on a detailed review of the most important future issues in water research. In the second stage of research the in-depth analysis of the core issues are occurs. As a result of this analysis four thematic clusters were identified and further specified in each case:

  1. Water for Food in the 21st century
  2. Water related risks, vulnerability, adaptive capacities
  3. Governance of transformation
  4. Manipulating flow and water bodies for managing ecosystem services