Cluster Water

Natural river courseClick to enlarge
APA III describes 31 measures to be implemented in the water cluster between 2020 and 2024.
Source: Sonyuser / pixabay

Measures for the fields of water management, water management, coastal and marine protection and fisheries

The National Flood Protection Programme (NHWSP) will be carried forward to tackle the growing risks of flood events in a coordinated manner across all Länder. The “Preventive flood protection” special framework plan of the federal/Länder Joint Task for the Improvement of Agricultural Structures and Coastal Protection provides federal funding for this purpose, co-financed from Land resources. The federal government will urge harmonisation of flood hazard maps in the course of their updating. Restoring to a more natural state the watercourses regulated as waterways and in federal ownership, together with their floodplains, through the federal government’s Blue Belt Germany programme contributes to flood protection. It also fosters attainment of “good ecological status” or “good ecological potential” of watercourses. Particularly where inland shipping on waterways undergoes change, opportunities arise to improve the hydromorphology of water bodies and their ecological continuity, and to improve the status of floodplain areas.

Climate change may lead to lengthy dry periods (as experienced in 2018 and 2019). Problems then arises in terms of water resource shortages, which lead to competition over use of the available resources (for potable water, agricultural irrigation, water storage for fire extinguishing, inland shipping, etc.). To resolve such conflicting uses in future periods of drought, proposals shall be made that concretise human potable water requirements, which may have priority, in order to determine a potential hierarchy of water uses where conflicts arise. There is also a need to analyse across the Länder the risks posed by more low-flow events, and thereby to develop a foundation for systematic and structured handling by the federal government and Länder administrations of low-flow and drought issues.

At the level of the Länder bearing a constitutional responsibility for these matters, numerous measures are already in place to handle flood events, low-flow situations and the impacts of sea-level rise. The federal government will continue to broaden its cooperation with the Länder in these fields within the scope of its competencies (see above, Chapters B and C).

A mounting risk of heavy rainfall events causes flood hazards to increase. Municipal authorities have an obligation to take precautions against this. APA III provides for elaboration of a guideline on the preparation of hazard and risk maps for local heavy rainfall events. The guideline should define minimum standards for the production of hazard and risk maps; it builds upon the LAWA strategy for effective heavy rain risk management (see Section B.4). Moreover, the potential of decentral rainwater harvesting in residential areas and industrial zones should be examined. This can help to maintain a natural water regime and avoid having to install larger sewage piping diameters that may become necessary in the course of climate change.

Furthermore, extreme events and damage are to be recorded systematically. In order to be in a position to better quantify the extent and frequency of meteorological and hydrological extreme events and the damage and environmental impacts caused by them, Germany shall set up a database documenting (past) events, modelled on those already established in other countries.


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 Anpassung  KomPass  Kompetenzzentrum Klimafolgen und Anpassung