ISOE Event ‘Meet the Scientist’

Literally exhausted? Climate change and the consequences for our drinking water resources

Photo: StockPhotoAstur –

Nothing is lost in a cycle, right? Evaporation, cloud formation, rain, infiltration and runoff shape the earth’s water resources as a cycle. Water cannot run out, as we already learned in school. Nevertheless, water crises are eminent, and entire cities or regions could run dry. Even in Germany, regional drinking water supplies became scarce during recent periods of drought. Anthropogenic interventions are changing the water cycle and we have to ask, how do sustainable water use concepts look like? In the event ‘Meet the Scientist’ on June 23, 2021 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., researchers from ISOE – Institute for Social-Ecological Research will present current results from their water research and discuss the insights with the interested public.

Newspaper article on the event is available here, published in Frankfurter Rundschau.

Water researchers around the world have been warning of local water crises for many years now. Climate change is likely to critically intensify these crisis, because it is altering water availability and distribution on the ‘blue planet’ through droughts, floods and salinization of water resources. Added to this is pollution from urban and industrial wastewater as well as agriculture, which further reduces the amount of usable water. In large parts of the world, the available water resources are therefore already heavily overused. This also applies to many regions in Europe and to some in Germany, where local water supply bottlenecks have occurred in recent drought years. However, the dramatic changes in the water cycle are not only reflected in ‘supply bottlenecks’, but also in more frequent extreme events (heavy precipitation and droughts), in falling groundwater levels and in a changed chemical composition of lakes, rivers or groundwater bodies. These also become warmer, rain infiltrates more poorly, and drought is followed by flooding. Current studies prove this: The way societies use water has a direct impact on these phenomena.

New event format at the Frankfurt Citizens’ University

What conclusions can be drawn from this for sustainable water use? With the event format ‘Meet the Scientist’ as part of the Frankfurt Citizens’ University in the summer semester of 2021, ISOE is taking the opportunity to present current results from water research. The two ISOE scientists Robert and Stefan will first introduce the topic of ‘Climate change in Germany’ using the example of water issues.

Following the keynote lecture, the scientists will discuss with the guests how sustainable water use might look like and what concrete options there are for shaping the situation in a city like Frankfurt am Main. hr-iNFO is the media partner of this Citizens’ University, which will be moderated by science journalist Stephan M. Hübner.