Integrated Analysis of the Impacts of Global Change on Environment and Society in the Elbe Basin

GLOWA - Global Change and the Hydrological Cycle

Ed.: Frank Wechsung; Stefan Kaden; Horst Behrendt; Beate Klöcking

2008. X, 391 pages, 159 figures, 59 tables, ribbon bookmark, 19x27cm, 1340 g
Language: English

ISBN 978-3-510-65304-1, bound, price: 38.40 €

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BibTeX file


elbe riverclimate changewater budgetwater pricesutility infrastructuremodelGLOWA


Synopsis top ↑

The River Elbe is a prominent feature of central Europe in both a geographic and socio-economic sense. The German part of the Elbe basin, around 2/3 of the entire river basin, is home to 18 million people. Of these, most live in the territory of the former East Germany, which covers 88% of the German Elbe basin. These areas are currently undergoing socio-economic transformations, which have far-reaching consequences for the economic use of water. Comprehensive de-industrialisation has led to an economic re-evaluation of the water and utility industry. The increasing importance of the water and energy utilities is particularly relevant to the water budget. While the population is decreasing as a result of industrial decline, water management costs per capita are increasing.

Water management in the Elbe basin not only must consider the changing socio-economic framework, but also future climate change. The German part of the Elbe basin today is characterised by its low water availability and a high nutrient load in the river system. Climate models indicate that further reduction of water availability due to declining levels of precipitation must be expected.

In the GLOWA-Elbe project (funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Science) scientists from 19 institutions have used simulation studies to investigate possible impacts of climate change on the water budget of the German Elbe basin, looking at how these changes mean in view of emerging socio-economic developments, and what strategies should be in order to adapt to these changes. The results, compiled under the title "Challenges of global change for the Elbe river basin" include range from the climatic impact on water availability, agricultural yield potential and economic effects resulting from the former, via nutrient inputs to the river system, to the adaptation opportunities arising from the flooding of 12,000 hectares of former lignite pits in the mining region of Lusatia.

Table of Contents top ↑

Authors and contributors VII
Part I: Research questions – Methodological approach – Results
I‑1 Challenges of global change for the Elbe river basin 3
Frank Wechsung
I-1.1 Introduction 3
I-1.2 Initial observations on the research approach and methodology 6
I-1.2.1 Sustainability as an economic category 7
I-1.2.2 Gaps in perception, evaluation and objectification 8
I-1.2.3 The Integrated Methodological Approach (IMA) in accomplishing the sustainability imperative 11
I-1.3 Focal points and approaches for solving future water usage conflicts in the German Elbe basin 13
I-1.3.1 Historical sustainability deficits and imperatives in the region 13
I-1.3.2 Water related global change trends in the Elbe river basin 15
I-1.4 Specification of global change and management alternatives 20
I-1.5 Results from the development, analysis, and evaluation of global change scenarios in GLOWA-Elbe I 23
I-1.5.1 Climate change scenarios in the Elbe river basin 23
I-1.5.2 Nutrient loads in the whole Elbe region with special consideration of German part 31
I-1.5.3 The water balance and yields in the German Elbe basin 33
I-1.5.4 Agriculture in the German part of the Elbe basin 33
I-1.5.5 Landscape change in the German Elbe basin 36
I-1.5.6 Unstrut – Land use in a heavily agricultural region 39
I-1.5.7 Water management and water quality in the Spree-Havel sub-basin 39
I-1.6 Resumé 50
I‑2 The Integrated Methodological Approach of GLOWA‑Elbe 55
Frank Messner, Volker Wenzel, Alfred Becker, Frank Wechsung
I-2.1 Introduction 55
I-2.2 The origins of the IMA in the integrated assessment approaches of PIK and UFZ 56
I-2.3 The basic version of the IMA at the beginning of the GLOWA-Elbe I project 57
I-2.4 The implementation of the IMA 61
I-2.5 Outlook 63
I‑3 The Integrated Methodological Approach in a stringent language calculus 67
Volker Wenzel
I-3.1 Introduction 67
I-3.2 Basic categories and representatives 67
I-3.3 Definitions and examples of representatives of the basic categories 69
I-3.4 The formalism of the language concept 72
I-3.5 Cognitive science function of the IMA 74
Part II: Scenarios and selected impacts on the German part of the Elbe basin
II‑1 Climate scenarios for the German part of the Elbe basin 81
Daniela Jacob and Friedrich-Wilhelm Gerstengarbe
II-1.1 Regional climate simulations for studying precipitation conditions in current and future climates 85
Daniela Jacob and Katharina Bülow
II-1.2 Climate prognosis of temperature, potential evaporation and precipitation with the NEURO-FUZZY method 92
Eberhard Reimer, Sahar Sodoudi, Eileen Mikusky, Ines Langer
II-1.3 Simulation results from the climate model STAR 106
Friedrich-Wilhelm Gerstengarbe and Peter C. Werner
II‑2 Possible effects of global change in the Elbe basin 115
II-2.1 Policy and citizens’ scenarios 115
II-2.1.1 Perspectives for agriculture in the German Elbe basin – Results from an interdisciplinary model network 115
Horst Gömann, Peter Kreins, Christian Julius
II-2.1.2 Future landscapes – Citizens’ scenarios for landscape development 124
Detlev Ipsen, Uli Reichhardt, Holger Weichler
II-2.2 Scenario impacts for the water and nutrient balance – an overview 131
Horst Behrendt
II-2.2.1 Possible effects of changes in climate and agriculture onnutrient inputs and
loads 133
Horst Behrendt, Dieter Opitz, Markus Venohr, Mojmir Soukup
II-2.2.2 Impact of climate change and land-use change on the landscape water
balance and agricultural yields in the German Elbe basin 144
Fred F. Hattermann, Valentina Krysanova, Frank Wechsung
Part III: Integrative regional analysis for selected areas
III‑1 The Unstrut region – Introduction, methodology and results 161
Beate Klöcking and Thomas Sommer
III-1.1 Research into the recent water and nutrient budgets in the Unstrut region 166
Thomas Sommer and Steffi Knoblauch
III-1.2 Changing land use – Results of farm and ecosystem impact analyses 178
Uta Maier
III-1.3 The Unstrut region – Modelling the water and nitrogen budgets under the influence of global change 189
Beate Klöcking, Thomas Sommer, Bernd Pfützner
III‑2 Spree‑Havel 203
III-2.1 Analysis of problems and conflicts in integrated water management in the Spree-
Havel region 203
III-2.1.1 Problems of integrated water management in the Spree-Havel region in the
context of global change 203
Uwe Grünewald
III-2.1.2 Integrated participative and model-aided water management in the
Spree-Havel region 213
Alfred Becker
III-2.1.3 Large-scale water management models as instruments for river catchment
management 217
Stefan Kaden, Michael Schramm, Michael Redetzky
III-2.1.4 Application of the Integrated Methodological Approach to the Upper Spree 228
Frank Messner, Michael Kaltofen, Oliver Zwirner, Hagen Koch
III-2.2 Upper Spree 236
III-2.2.1 Water management strategies in the Spree region upstream of Berlin 236
Michael Kaltofen, Hagen Koch, Michael Schramm
III-2.2.2 Integrated evaluation of river catchment management strategies 254
Frank Messner, Michael Kaltofen, Hagen Koch, Oliver Zwirner
III-2.3 The Spreewald 266
III-2.3.1 The Spreewald integration concept and results on water balance
developments 266
Ottfried Dietrich
III-2.3.2 Effects of changes in climate and groundwater levels on the soil-water-
components, biomass production and fen degradation in the Spreewald 276
Marco Lorenz, Kai Schwärzel, Gerd Wessolek
III-2.3.3 Vegetation in the Spreewald against the background of climate change and
assessment of developments from an ecological standpoint 286
Ulrich Bangert, Gero Vater, Ingo Kowarik, Jutta Heimann
III-2.3.4 Including the value of wetlands water use in economic analysis of river basin
management: a case study of the Spreewald 296
Malte Grossmann
III-2.4 Berlin / Lower Havel 311
III-2.4.1 Integrated studies on the water balance for Berlin 311
Volker Wenzel
III-2.4.2 Changes in water yield and availability in the Berlin agglomeration 332
Claudia Rachimow, Bernd Pfützner, Walter Finke
III-2.4.3 Effects of global change on water quality in the Berlin river network 343
Tanja Bergfeld, Torsten Strube, Volker Kirchesch
List of figures 357
List of tables 365
Scenario catalogue 369
Models used in GLOWA-Elbe I 373
Project structure 379
Abbreviations 381
Glossary 389