NiddaMan – Sustainable Water Resources Management in the Nidda Catchment Area

Die Nidda (Foto: Oliver Schulz/ISOE)

The aim of the joint project is the development of strategies for a sustainable management of the water resources in the Nidda catchment area. These strategies are to serve as a planning instrument for practical water management.

Research approach

The Nidda catchment area represents the extreme form of an area that is densely populated and intensively used by agriculture and industry. Due to the extensive usage requirements of various societal groups towards the surrounding area and the body of water itself the natural structure of the Nidda was strongly altered in the past. In spite of a number of renaturisation measures the river is in a moderate to poor ecological state.

Within the joint project NiddaMan, insights are supposed to be gained concerning the stress factors in the catchment area which are to serve as a knowledge base for a sustainable practice in the sector of water management. To this end, investigations will be made concerning the contaminant influx, the chemical water quality, the assessment of ecotoxicological effects, the biodiversity and the efficiency of water management measures. Conflict areas of water usage will be identified and the knowledge of various practitioners will be taken into account. In order to achieve a participation of the public, an internet platform will be developed to enable a dialogue and an active participation of citizens.

The research results will flow into an integrated information and management system for water monitoring and the efficient planning of water management measures. This will be developed in the joint project with the aim to enable a transfer to other regions with a similar problem structure.


The largest part of the German surface waters does not comply the aim of the EU water framework directive of a good respectively very good state. In order to secure the quality, availability and a longterm protection of this resource, the stakeholders responsible for a sustainable management of the water bodies are facing the challenge to achieve a cost efficient, target orientated and effective management. New knowledge bases and up-to-date analyses with respect to hampering, stress and success factors are urgently required in order to get the priorities of water management measures right.

Research partners

  • Goethe University Frankfurt, Department Aquatic Ecotoxicology
  • BGS Wasser – Brandt Gerdes Sitzmann Wasserwirtschaft GmbH
  • The German Federal Institute of Hydrology (BfG), Department G2 – Aquatic Chemistry
  • Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Institute for Evolution and Ecology, Animal Physiological Ecology
  • ISOE – Institute for Social-Ecological Research
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute for Water and River Basin Management, Department of Aquatic Environmental Engineering
  • Technische Universität Darmstadt, Institute IWAR
  • Unger Engineers, Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH

Practice partners

  • Hessian Agency for the Environment and Geology (HLUG)
  • Darmstadt Administrative Authorities
  • Wetterau District, Friedberg


The project „NiddaMan – Development of a Sustainable Water Resources Management Exemplified by the Nidda Catchment Area” is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of the programme “Research for Sustainable Developments (FONA)”. Here, NiddaMan is part of the funding measure “Regional Water Resources Management for Sustainable Water Protection in Germany (ReWaM)” in the funding priority “Sustainable Water Management (NaWaM)”.


Fickel, Thomas/Oliver Schulz/Katharina Campe/Carolin Völker/Heide Kerber (2019): Konflikte um die Renaturierung der Nidda. Eine Analyse im Rahmen des Projektes NiddaMan. ISOE-Materialien Soziale Ökologie, 54. Frankfurt am Main: ISOE - Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung

Schulz, Oliver/Heide Kerber/Carolin Völker/Bea Schmitt (2019): Stakeholder im Dialog für das Wasserressourcen-Management. KW Korrespondenz Wasserwirtschaft 12 (7), 399-406

Völker, Carolin/Johanna Kramm (2019): Die Nidda - ein Fluss mit einer bewegten Geschichte. KW Korrespondenz Wasserwirtschaft 12 (7), 393-398

Schulz, Oliver/Sabrina Giebner/Heide Kerber/Carolin Völker/Rainer Stock/Thomas Buch/Anna Eva Heinrich/Jörg Oehlmann/Ulrike Schulte-Oehlmann (2018): Formate für Kommunikation und Partizipation im Wasserressourcen-Management. Hydrologie und Wasserbewirtschaftung 62 (6), 441-452

Völker, Carolin/Oliver Schulz/Heide Kerber (2018): Planungshilfe für die Gestaltung von Beteiligungsprozessen im Flussgebietsmanagement - Empfehlungen aus dem Projekt NiddaMan. ISOE-Materialien Soziale Ökologie, 51. Frankfurt am Main: ISOE - Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung

Schulz, Oliver/Heide Kerber/Carolin Völker/Bea Schmitt (2017): Welche Aspekte Stakeholdern bei der Auswahl von Renaturierungsmaßnahmen wichtig sind. NiddaMan Journal (5)

Schulz, Oliver/Heide Kerber/Carolin Völker/Hanna Wagener/Bea Schmitt (2017): Renaturierung kommunizieren - Erfahrungsbericht zum dritten NiddaMan Stakeholder-Workshop. NiddaMan Journal (8)

Schulz, Oliver/Hanna Wagener/Carolin Völker/Jörg Oehlmann/Matthias Oetken/Gottfried Lehr (2017): NiddaMan-Radtour: Ökologie, Nutzung, Renaturierung. NiddaMan Journal (7)

Schulte-Oehlmann, Ulrike/Lukas Raffelsiefen/Heide Kerber/Carolin Völker (2016): "Erfolgreich renaturieren ist kein einfacher Job" - NiddaMan diskutiert Maßnahmen an Gewässern. NiddaMan Journal (2)

Schulz, Oliver (2016): NiddaLand - eine interaktive Wissenslandkarte. Natur beobachten und Wissen teilen. Flyer.

Schulz, Oliver/Heide Kerber/Carolin Völker/Bea Schmitt (2016): Vielfältige Ansprüche an die Flusslandschaft - Erfahrungsbericht zum ersten NiddaMan Stakeholder-Workshop. NiddaMan Journal (3)

Völker, Carolin/Johanna Kramm (2016): Die Nidda - ein Fluss mit einer bewegten Geschichte. WissensWert (1)


2015/05 – 2018/04