Collaborative project Dibias - DAS: DiBiAS

October 6, 2023 / Rebecca Haase

Digital educational module for interdisciplinary adaptation strategies in urban water management to climate change impacts

Climate change affects urban water management in various ways, whether through increased heavy rainfall that must be safely drained from urban areas, or prolonged dry periods leading to high demand peaks in drinking and irrigation water supply. More pronounced low-water situations, even to the point of smaller water bodies drying up, increase the vulnerability of aquatic ecosystems and therefore impose higher demands on rainwater management and wastewater treatment. These associated problems have regional impacts and typically affect all sub-disciplines of urban water management. Comprehensive solution strategies are necessary due to the multiple uses of water bodies such as the Rhine, serving as a recreational area, navigation route, receiver for treated wastewater, and water resource in the form of bank filtrate for drinking water supply, requiring consideration of the different usage demands.

In university education, climate change is recognized and taught as a major challenge associated with significant planning uncertainties. However, solutions are not integrated into teaching at a strategic level but rather considered in isolation and on a case-by-case basis.

The aim of the proposed project is to teach students in urban water management appropriate adaptation strategies to climate change in a target group-oriented manner using suitable digital learning units. The learning content, which builds on the basic modules of urban water management, will be offered in a digital lecture format (e.g., video combined with animated lecture slides) as downloads. This enables students to utilize an innovative, time- and location-flexible, self-defined educational opportunity and thus be prepared for an increasingly digitally connected working and educational environment.

To achieve this, climate-relevant aspects from various sub-disciplines (drinking) water supply, urban hydrology and drainage, wastewater treatment and recycling, industrial water management, and water quality management are linked and deepened through cross-cutting content. In particular, the risk analysis and evaluation of individual adaptation measures across different sub-disciplines are emphasized, strengthening the holistic, solution-oriented understanding of interrelated chains of effects. Thus, students are empowered to recognize, evaluate, and find holistic solutions for the impact of climate change adaptation strategies beyond the respective sub-disciplines. Associated opportunities and risks are methodically analyzed and evaluated. Furthermore, these strategies must be practical both in new construction and, especially, in existing infrastructure, thus incorporating transformation processes.


September 2023 – August 2024


University of Stuttgart:

ISWA – Institute for Sanitary Engineering, Water Quality and Solid Waste Management (Coordination)

ZIRIUS - Center for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Studies

University of Kaiserslautern-Landau (RPTU):

rewa – Department Resource Efficient Wastewater Technologies

SiWaWi – Department Urban Water Management



Förderung durch:

Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection


Future Environment Society (ZUG) gGmbH – Supporting measures for the adaption to the consequences of climate change (DAS)


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