• Make your voice count: Nominations for the Global Water Awards 2019 - Deadline 31 January 2019


    Do you know a company, project, plant, technology, deal or initiative that deserves the “Global Water Awards”? The nomination for the Awards 2019 is now open and you can vote here until 31 January. Nominations can be made under 13 different categories, such as Smart Water Company of the Year, Municipal Desalination Plant of the Year or Water Leaders Award. The winners will be announced at the Global Water Summit on April 9th 2019 in London. Further information on the process can be found here.

  • Call for papers for the 10th International Conference on Sustainable Water Resources Management, 7 - 9 May 2019 in Alicante, (Spain)


    The 10th International Conference on Sustainable Water Resources Management, organised by the Wessex Institute (UK) and the University of Alicante (Spain) opened its call for papers. The conference will present recent technological and scientific developments, associated with the management of surface and sub-surface water resources. Papers presented will be published by WIT Press in a Volume of WIT Transactions or at an Issue of the International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning.

  • Second workshop on the cross-cutting topic “SDGs – Hitting the targets”


    During its workshop on 11th December in Osnabrück, the group continued to investigate the two topics identified at the first meeting: conflicting targets and synergies between different SDGs; and indicators, data and models. The participants also discussed how best to transfer knowledge from the GRoW projects to the political process.

    The workshop began with two keynote presentations. One focused on identifying methodological approaches for assessing conflicting targets and synergies within the SDGs. The other assessed interlinkages between alternative policy options from the project TRUST. The workshop then moved on to the working group session.  

    The working group for indicators, data and models focused on the importance of SDG implementation and decision-making on the ground, and on improvements in representing existing governance systems. It also looked at addressing cross-sectoral problems as a way of achieving the SDGs more efficiently. The group rapidly agreed to prepare a policy brief on how to complement and possibly improve the current SDG monitoring process. Besides the key messages, empirical examples from the GRoW projects will be a major component of the paper.     
    Following a fruitful discussion, the working group on conflicting targets and synergies between different SDGs decided to develop a new assessment method for evaluating projects and different policy plans and their effects on SDG interactions, with a special focus on SDG 6. The method aims to improve the way the advantages and disadvantages of interventions are presented, and to develop concrete proposals for decision-making.

    The next workshop on the cross-cutting topic is planned for spring 2019.

    The presentations and workshop minutes are available here.

  • GRoW at COP24


    The UNFCCC 24th Conference of the Parties and 14th Session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol was held in Katowice, Poland, from 2nd to 4th December. Besides discussions of emissions trading, climate security, climate change financing and local climate protection, there was also an emphasis on water-related topics as being integral to achieving most other SDGs and the ambitious climate change targets.

    GRoW was presented at the Conference of the Parties (COP) as part of input from Project Management Agency Karlsruhe (PTKA). Romy Durst introduced the broad portfolio of activities occuring within the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and focused on the FONA3 framework prgramme. She highlighted GRoW’s special focus on connecting global information about water resources and water demand with regional and local solutions.

    In addition, the GRoW project SaWaM (Seasonal Water Management for Semiarid Areas) was present at a side-event on “climate-proofing strategies”, during which Dr Lorenz and Professor Kunstmann from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology provided an overview of ongoing research and first research results within their project.

    Several otherl events highlighted the important role of water in achieving climate change targets. UN-Water, for instance, organized an event entitled “The role of water in achieving climate neutrality“ that it addressed the integration of SDG6 (water) and SDG13 (climate change). The side event highlighted the important role of water, the potential for synergies and trade-offs, and the political progress achieved so far.

    After reaching a lat-minute deal on a 156-page rulebook, COP24 now provides a roadmap for further implementation of the Paris Agreement. However, since collaboration at the national levels is under threat as a result of current political developments in a number of leading countries (including the USA, Germany and France), commitment at sub-national levels (local governments, cities, states, businesses and NGOs) continues to gain importance for achieving carbon emission goals. Various cities and organisations have already committed  to the Paris Agreement. The same can be expected with water-related issues, as this COP highlighted the close links between these two topics.

  • SaWaM will be presented at COP24


    Between the 3rd and 14th of December the 24th Climate Change Conference (COP24) will be held in Katowice, Poland.  Delegates from 197 countries will come together to discuss and jointly work on progres in the battle against climate change. GRoW will be represented by Dr Lorenz and Prof Kunstmann from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology who will present their GRoW-project “SaWaM” in the side event “Climate proofing strategies”. The session serves as a platform for demonstrating different strategies and possibilities of climate proofing in the water, energy and food nexus at different time and spatial scales; a number of experts will furthermore give an overview of ongoing research and current initiatives in the field of improving precipitation as well as seasonal prediction forecasts. The session will take place in the EU Pavillon, Room Brussels on the 3rd of December from 12:30-14:00.

    Please find further information on the program here.

  • Second workshop on the cross-cutting topic “Incentive mechanisms in the context of governance”


    On 22 October, the working group on the cross-cutting topic “Incentive mechanisms in the context of governance” met in Frankfurt to continue its work on key issues identified at its first meeting earlier this year.

    At that meeting, which took place in March 2018, the group identified three sub-themes for its future work: a mechanism for turning research into practice, agricultural irrigation, and measuring governance. The second workshop aimed to examine these topics in more depth in order to share knowledge, achieve a common understanding of associated concepts, and pinpoint opportunities for harnessing synergies across the projects.

    The workshop began with three keynote presentations. One examined how to bridge the water governance gap between the macro and the micro level, another examined the institutional framework of irrigation systems, and the third looked at indicators and measurements for assessing water governance structures.

    After these presentations, the project representatives shared insights into their work on legal frameworks in the context of irrigated agriculture. There was broad consensus on the relevance of analysing legal mechanisms and frameworks in order to assess the potential value of the projects’ technical outputs.

    The participants continued their exchange within two parallel working groups. One examined irrigated agriculture, and the other was about measuring governance and turning governance research into practice. Focusing on social innovation, digitalization and legal frameworks, the irrigated agriculture group was primarily interested in analysing legal frameworks, particularly with regard to deficits of implementation and respective solutions, and considered a joint publication on this issue. The second working group discussed the links to governance that exist in the GRoW projects. It identified potential principles of good governance (separation of powers, enforcement, and appropriate monitoring methods) and talked about the outcome of the session: a collection of aspects of good governance from the projects and a potential position paper with condensed information on water governance.

    The next workshop on the cross-cutting topic will be organized in spring 2019.

    The presentations and workshop minutes are available here.


  • Zweiter Workshop zu dem Querschnittsthema „Wasserfußabdruck“


    Die Arbeit der GRoW-Community zu den Querschnittsthemen geht in die zweite Runde. Mit einem lebendigen und erfolgreichen Workshop am 27. September setzte das GRoW-Querschnittsthema Wasserfußabdruck seine Arbeit zu wichtigen Themen fort, die bei der ersten Sitzung im März dieses Jahres identifiziert wurden.

    Ziel des zweiten Treffens war es, die beim ersten Workshop-Meeting identifizierten Fragen weiter zu untersuchen und mögliche Synergien der gemeinsamen Arbeit zwischen GRoW-Projekten zu identifizieren.

    Anhand von drei Input-Präsentationen diskutierten die Mitglieder der Gruppe Möglichkeiten und Grenzen für die Verwendung von Wasserfußabdruck-Methoden anhand von drei Fragen:

    • Wie kann der Wasserfußabdruck mit wirtschaftlichen und sozialen Auswirkungen (z. B. Gesundheit der Verbraucher, Kosten für Verbraucher / Gesellschaft) verknüpft werden?
    • Wie kann Handel den Wasserstress in bestimmten Regionen beeinflussen oder umgekehrt? Was sind die Verbindungen zu Minderungsstrategien?
    • Wie kann Wasserqualität / Wasserverschmutzung im Wasserfußabdruck berücksichtigt werden?

    Ein breiter Konsens unter den TeilnehmerInnen bestand darüber, wie wichtig es ist, den WF über seine volumetrischen Umweltauswirkungen hinaus zu betrachten. Gleichzeitig wurde deutlich, wie vielseitig die Ansätze für den Einsatz des WF in den verschiedenen Projekten sind und dass es keine "one size fits all" -Lösung gibt. Um ihre Ergebnisse zu sammeln und zu verbreiten, beschlossen die TeilnehmerInnen, ein Positionspapier zu entwickeln. Ziel dieses Positionspapiers wäre es, den quantitativen Ansatz des WF kritisch zu diskutieren, zu beleuchten, welche Faktoren in die WF einbezogen werden sollten und wie dies möglich ist sowie die Potenziale und Grenzen der WF auf der Basis wissenschaftlicher Diskussion aus Sicht von GRoW zu analysieren.

    Das nächste Workshop-Treffen zum Querschnittsthema wird im Frühjahr 2019 stattfinden.

    Präsentationen und Workshop-Protokolle finden Sie hier.

  • InoCottonGROW: Commissioning a pilot plant for the anaerobic treatment of wastewater from the textile industry in Pakistan


    Pakistan is the world’s fourth largest producer of cotton, and a major exporter of textiles to Germany. The industry consumes and pollutes an immense amount of water. Within InoCottonGROW, 14 German partners from research and industry are working with 13 Pakistani partners to make water consumption more efficient and productive along the entire cotton-textile value chain. The goal is to optimise the water footprint as a steering instrument to help Pakistani decision-makers manage scarce water resources, and to give German consumers criteria for making informed purchasing decisions.

    In collaboration with Pakistani partners, the project is initially analysing current water consumption and pollution in the Punjab province. The work will combine satellite remote sensing, hydrological and hydraulic modelling, surveys of cotton farmers, audits of textile companies, and measurements of irrigation channels and groundwater. Demonstration projects will show possible solutions for reducing the cotton textile industry’s water footprint.

    The demonstration project on textile wastewater treatment has made significant progress in recent months. Of roughly 220 textile businesses in the Faisalabad textile region, only around ten have treatment plants and several of those are not in use because of high energy costs. Yet with global brands under increasing public pressure to keep a closer eye on the environmental impacts of their producers, more and more Pakistani textile companies are being forced to invest in wastewater treatment. Cost pressure, improper planning and operation, and insufficient monitoring also lead to unsatisfactory treatment results. InoCottonGROW therefore wants to present an economic addition to the exclusively aerobic processes currently in use – by investigating the feasibility of anaerobically treating selected streams of easily degradable starchy wastewater from desizing.

    After facing numerous logistical challenges in Pakistan, the FiW researchers commissioned the pilot plant, which was shipped as a container, in July 2018 at the Kohinoor Mills Ltd. textile factory in the district of Kasur, south of Lahore. The plant was planned and built in collaboration with the company A3 Water Solutions GmbH and the University of Stuttgart. After just a few weeks, the plant was producing biogas from the heavily organically contaminated wastewater. A high point was when the researchers used the biogas to boil a pot of tea in front of the factory employees. This was proof that wastewater can produce energy. The researchers then optimized the process to assess the economic viability of a large-scale plant under local conditions. Thanks to the close collaboration with the National University of Science and Technology in Islamabad, a local doctoral student will continue to operate the plant. In addition, initial offers have been made for providing textile companies with expert advice on wastewater. With the help of a documentary film about the project and the development of a water footprint label, InoCottonGROW is working to raise awareness among local decision-makers and German consumers.

    The upcoming midterm conference 6 to 10 November 2018 at the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad) will present interim results from all the work packages. These will also be discussed extensively in workshops and training sessions with Pakistani partners.