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Integrative River Basin Management- Synergies and target areas in the Ilmenau catchment area

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The sub-project SAWA-Ilmenau was run by the working group on Sustainable Land Development at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg under the leadership of Prof. Dr.Mariele Evers, supported by Julia Mußbach and Philipp Arndt (both MSc Environmental Science), Aklilu Teklesadik (Hydroinformatics) and Monika Tischbierek (MSc Engineering).
The project work concentrated on the field of integrative river basin management (IRBM; German: IFGM); the River Ilmenau was chosen for the case study.
The principal goals of the project were

  1. to identify the flood risk characteristics of the Ilmenau and its catchment
  2. To bring together and analyse various usage rights and developments, technical planning measures and institutions (e.g. management plans for the WFD, the Habitats Directive (FFH), land use plans) in order to identify and visualise synergies and potential conflicts
  3. Analysis of target areas for river catchment management measures using cascade GIS methods.

Details of the various use requirements, planning projects (e.g. WFD, FFH, spatial or construction planning aspects) in the catchment were compiled and visualised so as to be able to show where synergies are possible.
The following are examples of synergies between flood protection and water quality, in other words, between the Floods Directive and the Water Framework Directive:

  • Increasing retention potential in the floodplain and creation of a natural water and floodplain structure
  • Increasing the water storage capacity in the catchment (e.g. on agricultural land) and limiting the sanding-up process of rivers by erosion-prevention measures.

Together with the regional stakeholders a concept for management measures was developed which prioritises measures in the project area and enables tools and resources to be purposefully employed. To this end, a landscape analysis method and a catalogue of adaptive methods was developed which took into account information on the various relevant planning areas as well as potential implementation tools. The focus of the analysis was to interlink and draw together the different data from widespread sources so as to highlight the synergies and show how the issues can be meaningfully consolidated.

In this way, we are able to support and optimise the manifold coordination, agreement and implementation processes required in integrated river basin management.

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