Important Research Results in 2018 and 2019

technical and administrative processes of the water supplier are examined on the basis of 34 skills required for digitisation, covering technical as well as organisational and cultural aspects. The model is available to the industry as a self-check tool in the form of a web application at:

MeRK’Mal – A concept for the retention of X-ray contrast media (RKM) relieves the Ruhr

In Mülheim, a concept has been developed for the retention of x-ray contrast media at the source. Up to 87% of the patients in the medical facilities involved used urine bags after radiological examinations to prevent x-ray contrast media from entering the Ruhr. Were this collection concept to be systematically implemented throughout the Ruhr region, the concentration of x-ray contrast media in the Ruhr could roughly be halved. Now its continuation is planned in the form of the regional roll-out of X-ray contrast media collection.

Junior Research Group – “Water in the city of the future”

How can the water supply and sanitation sector be sustainably transformed with regard to demographic, digital and climate change? This was the subject of the research project “Water in the city of the future”, funded by the Stiftung Zukunft NRW foundation. The overall objective was to develop an integrated monitoring and control system to support water-sensitive urban development. To this end, the spatial, technical and economic dimensions of the water-supply and sanitation infrastructure were combined with those of the partner municipality of Iserlohn.

MULTI-ReUse: The modular combination of technologies for water reuse

In a pilot plant in Lower Saxony, a modular treatment system was used to further process conventionally-treated waste water under real conditions in order to use it as process water, e.g. in an industrial plant. At the same time, innovative methods for the online monitoring of microbiological hygiene were developed. As part of process optimisation under practical conditions, the synergy potentials of ultrafiltration (UF) and reverse osmosis (RO) were exploited in order to make these technologies more attractive for application in water reuse. Besides closing gaps in process engineering knowledge, decision aids for potential users were also developed.

BINGO: Adaptation to climate change

By using decadal climate projections for the first time, BINGO has closed the gap between short-term weather forecasts and long-term IPCC scenarios (until 2100). For the next decade, six European case studies have been able to show what influences can be expected from climate change. In the German study area (Wupper) it was shown, among other things, that the hydrological balance will shift due to the temporal change in precipitation and the rise in temperature. This means, for example, that the Grosse Dhünn dam will receive less inflow because more water will evaporate before it reaches the dam. This may lead to lower fill levels in the dam, which can be problematic especially in phases of increasing water demand.


According to the current Global Climate Risk Index, Pakistan is among the 10 countries most affected by climate change. InoCottonGROW has been able to estimate the effects of these climatic changes on local agriculture through extensive hydrological modelling. By 2050, an average temperature increase of up to 2°C is to be expected in Punjab. This will lead to an increase in plant evaporation and thus to an increase in water demand, but also to a significant reduction in biomass production (crops) and thus to significant yield losses. These results will help determine future water scarcities in agriculture and enable recommendations to be derived for storage and use periods.