Master Plan “Future-proof Drinking Water Supply in Saarland 2040”

Foto: Danilo Rizzuti -

Together with aquabench GmbH, ISOE is developing a master plan for “Future-proof Drinking Water Supply in Saarland 2040”. This will create a state-wide framework for the long-term securing of the drinking water supply in Saarland. The master plan primarily addresses the water supply companies (WVU) and water authorities in Saarland, but also municipalities for their development of municipal water concepts. The overarching goal of the master plan is the further development of drinking water supply in terms of sustainable (ground) water management. In addition, a comprehensive and future-oriented basis for information and decision-making is to be provided to support water related management planning.

Scientific approach

Based on a presentation of the current situation of the water supply, the development perspectives as well as possible risks, superordinate objectives, so-called key objectives, are identified for the future and recommendations for measures are formulated which are oriented towards these objectives. The aim is to achieve integrated water resource management for the Saarland under changing conditions in society and the environment.

A review of the current situation of water supply, development perspectives as well as possible risks together form the basis for the identification of guiding principles for the water sector. This is followed by recommendations and measures for integrated water resource management for the Saarland, which are also practicable under changing conditions in society and the environment.

The development of the master plan is divided into five topical areas (German: “Themenkreise”, TK):

  • Topical area 1 (TK1): Evaluation of the Ecological Water Supply Concept Saar (ÖWAV 1996).
  • Topical area 2 (TK2): Indicators / actual situation of the companies
  • Topical area 3 (TK3): Challenges and necessary answers
  • Topical area 4 (TK4): Business issues and management systems
  • Topical area 5 (TK5): Developing “good water management practice”.

With the results from the topical areas, a guideline of “good water management practice” for the Saarland water supply companies will be developed which provides them with guidelines for a sustainable water supply. Based on this, future scenarios up to 2040 are used to derive the expected need for action.

ISOE’s tasks lie primarily in TK1-3 and TK5 and include the following issues: analyses and scenarios on the development of water demand, GIS representations, compilation of water protection areas, estimates on water saving, water use efficiency and risks due to micropollutants, assessments of climate impacts and supply security, as well as work on the expected water management framework conditions and ecological aspects of a sustainable water supply.


The reliable supply of hygienically safe drinking water in sufficient quantities is a decisive prerequisite for the future development of potential in all areas of life including the economy. However, water supply is facing new challenges: The technical and legal requirements for water supply are increasing. In addition, climate change, urbanisation, demographic change, structural change in agriculture and increasing competition for use are increasing the pressure on water resources. Technical, economic and social conditions are changing as well, with entailing consequences for water utilities. The state-wide master plan aims to provide a joint technically sound response to these complexities and thus offer guidance for water utilities, authorities and municipalities. 


The project to develop the master plan “Future-proof water supply in Saarland 2040” is commissioned by VEWSaar e.V., an association of the energy and water industry in Saarland. ISOE is subcontracted by the project partner aquabench.


2022/05 – 2024/05