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Water management and agriculture

Climate change has direct consequences for aquatic ecosystems through increased temperatures and rising sea level. Changing rainfall patterns in the catchment areas also affect water bodies as well as agriculture and the associated nutrient loads. Climate change may worsen existing problems such as eutrophication, algae blooms and anoxic zones (resulting in fish die-off).

The Water Framework Directive (WFD) aims to ensure that water bodies reach good ecological status by 2015. Various aspects of the implementation of the WFD can be affected by climate change: for example, the setting of reference conditions, the definition of good status, as well as implications for the assessment of relevant water quality elements. In particular, programmes of policy measures and their economic efficiency cannot be developed without taking climate and regional changes into consideration.
The implications of regional climate change on the water quality of catchment areas and coastal areas on the German Baltic coast will be derived by building on the available research in the natural, engineering and socio-economic sciences. The goal of this focus topic is to develop specific recommendations for the implementation of the WFD in surface and coastal waters in the context of climate and regional changes. Adaptation strategies for climate change and for the optimization of nutrient management will be developed and tested in pilot projects. Integrated pilot projects and practice-oriented partnerships will test measures for water and nutrient retention in the landscape (retention basins), management of eelgrass and bladder wrack to improve aquatic ecology, strategy and product development for nutrient-binding aquaculture techniques and the development of adapted plant varieties.
Networks have already been established for the implementation of the WFD, coordinated by central ministries (Maritime Expert Group, various LAWA boards (German Working Group on water issues of the Federal States)). The network also includes numerous actors and operators from politics and management, municipal communities, businesses, water and soil associations, and science.

Partners involved: 
IOW, IGB, vTI, IfAÖ, LLUR, IÖW, Ecologic
Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research, Warnemünde (IOW)
Straße, Nr.: 
Seestraße 15
PLZ, Ort: 
18119 Rostock
+49 381 5197-0
+49 381 5197-211
Contact person: 
Contact person: 
Inga Krämer