KAHR: Climate, adaptation, flood, resilience

  Handing over of the KAHR funding decision © Marcus Seiler

In the BMBF research project "Scientific monitoring of reconstruction processes after the flood disaster in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia: Impulses for Resilience and Climate Adaptation", new methods, procedures, and instruments for the further development of risk analyses and risk management approaches in water management and spatial planning are being developed and systematically linked to reconstruction strategies and processes. The project is supposed to be worked on together with twelve other collaborative partners in the coming years. The project is coordinated jointly with the Institute of Regional Planning and Development Planning from the University of Stuttgart, whereas the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Management is mainly responsible for the water management analysis for the affected regions in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate. 

The Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management (IWW) is already involved in several research projects at different levels in connection with flood resilient reconstruction. In cooperation of the IWW with the "Wasserverband Eifel-Rur" (WVER) and the municipalities of Eschweiler and Stolberg, a master plan for the cities affected by the flood is currently being developed. In close coordination with other experts from the fields of flood protection, spatial planning, urban planning, and urban water management, short-, medium- and long-term solutions are identified for a flood- and climate-resilient reconstruction of the two communities. These solutions are mainly related to the topics of water retention, space for the river, and object protection. In this context, the benchmark for verifying the cumulative effectiveness of the identified measures must be the flood of 2021. It must be possible, in case of a future recurrence of the event, to significantly reduce the damage that would occur compared to the 2021 flood. This means differentiated flood protection with higher priority given to critical infrastructures such as hospitals, fire stations, retirement- and nursing homes. In this context, both the procedure for preparing the master plan and the master plan itself can also serve as a template for dealing with flood- and climate-resilient development in other flood-affected regions.