5 Water Research Horizon Conference | overview

17/18 June 2014 | Berlin – Botanical Garden/Museum

Environmental Processes
in Real-time

Forecasting extreme hydro-environmental events such as heat waves, floods, droughts, and outbreaks of diseases, is one crucial component in the mitigation and management of the related risk. Therefore, a reduction of forecast uncertainty and increased lead time can very strongly support to cope with such events. An additional and widely discussed aspect is the ongoing climate change, which might lead to a further increase in extreme hydrological and ecological events. These pulsed events may also dramatically affect ecological and biological processes including material fluxes, species invasions and the resilience of entire ecosystems.

During the conference, priority research domains and management approaches for advanced forecast technology methods and the anticipation future risks of extreme events will be identified and discussed. For example, advanced remote sensing tools (e.g. novel radar technologies, satellites, or drones), new sensor technologies, and new data analyzing methods allow quantifying hydro-geomorphic, biogeochemical and ecological processes during pulsed events.

Our understanding of the role that extreme events play for natural hazard related risk, ecosystem processes and biodiversity will benefit substantially when we will be able to quantify the processes that occur during individual events.


For download of the outcomes of 5th WRHC 2014 see at

Urban Areas

Water in urban areas includes the natural water compartments of surface and subsurface waters, infrastructures for water supply and sanitation as well as the atmosphere, i.e. namely its rain characteristics. While the indivi­dual systems are understood rather well, the interactions between the compart­ments need to be explored with respect to both, water quantity and water quality. A suc­cessful management of water resources in urban areas is seen as one of the most challenging global problems to guarantee for a sustainable drinking water supply as well as an adequate hygienic sanitation esp. in fast growing cities. We need to fill the gap between urban water management, which is usually technology focused, and river basin management, which does usually not adequately consider the specific role of the urban areas in coupling water and matter fluxes with ecosystem status, functions and services.

The concrete topics at the conference will focus on conversion processes towards future infrastructure development, innovative research how to manage new pollutants in urban waters and – as a bridge to theme A – with real-time approaches for event predict­tion, e.g. to reduce consequences of urban flooding or to minimize acute receiving water impacts. The methods discussed will include modelling, evaluation methods, data generation and crowd sourcing for information synthesis. Thus, the participants backgrounds should cover a wide range of disciplines.

keynotes & sessions (17 June) or workshops (18 June ’14)