Wasserleitungen für die Trinkwasserversorgung liegen auf der Baustelle. Blick auf ein großes Betonrohr. Vorbereitung für Erdarbeiten zur Verlegung einer unterirdischen Leitung. Moderne Wasserversorgungssysteme.

Coupled Infrastructures

The confluence of climate change and demographic shifts presents unparalleled challenges to water infrastructures. Particularly during periods of heatwaves, droughts, heavy rainfall events, urbanization surges, and the depopulation of rural areas, the domains of water supply and wastewater management encounter serious trials. Mere surface-level adjustments often fall short. To effectively navigate these novel circumstances, a social-ecological transformation of these systems becomes imperative. This is where socio-technical and social-ecological innovations come into play, assuming a pivotal role.

A parallel focal point of our research focuses on the symbiosis of water infrastructure with other critical sectors like agriculture, energy/thermal systems, urban development, and waste management. This integration does not only involve challenges but also synergistic potentials that demand harnessing.

Our key research question is: How can social-ecological transformations of infrastructural and supply systems be executed successfully? To thoroughly answer this question, we embark on an exploration of intricate interdependencies and interactions among various infrastructural realms. Furthermore, we address potential obstacles and risks intrinsic to transformation, ensuring a holistic approach in tackling these pressing imperatives.