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Department of Landscape Planning & Nature Conservation

News from the Department of Landscape Planning & Nature Conservation

Regional conference on climate adaptation at Geisenheim University: Drinking water too precious for irrigation (07.07.2022)
Soil erosion in steep slope vineyards during heavy rainfall (Rothenberg in Geisenheim)(24. Juni 2022) © Timo Strack

Water in the Rheingau is becoming scarce - consumption is rising.

First the drought, then the torrential rain: At a regional conference to mark the conclusion of the KliA-Net project ("Cooperations for Climate Adaptation in Winegrowing Landscapes"), more than 50 experts discussed existing and future water conflicts in the region at Geisenheim University of Applied Sciences on 22 June 2022. Winegrowers like Gilbert Laquai from Lorch impressively described the existential problems caused by the repeated extreme drought. Two days after the conference, the flip side became clear: almost 30 litres of rain per square metre - not an unusual amount - washed valuable vineyard soil downhill through paths and ditches in Geisenheim.

How will we deal with our water in the Rheingau in the future? Christiane Wagner from the Darmstadt Regional Council, Department of Environment Wiesbaden, Mario Schellhardt, Managing Director of Rheingau Water, Jochen Quasten as Technical Operations Manager of the Geisenheim Municipal Utilities and Gilbert Laquai for the Rheingau Winegrowers' Association discussed this on the podium in the Gerd Erbslöh Lecture Hall at Geisenheim University. Moderated by Prof. Dr. Eckhard Jedicke, Head of the Competence Centre Cultural Landscape and the Institute for Landscape Planning and Nature Conservation at the university, they analysed the problems together with the audience and, above all, looked for solutions.

The increasing lack of precipitation over long periods of time in the Rheingau - as well as in Germany as a whole - is leading to a regional shortage in the availability of water. The situation is exacerbated during hot spells, when water consumption in the municipalities rises sharply. This is already resulting in supply problems today: The underground groundwater used as drinking water, our most important water resource with correspondingly high quality and strict hygienic requirements, will in future become too valuable to be used also as irrigation water in agriculture, in the Rheingau above all also in viticulture. In the discussion it very quickly became clear that the resource of water in the Rheingau has already been extensively tapped and that the amount of available water has been exhausted. Therefore, non-potable water is provided as so-called clear water for irrigation. For the future, the aim is to increase this supply; a clear water map that gives an area-wide overview for the Rheingau is the declared goal of the water suppliers.

In order to retain the still falling precipitation in the area more effectively, cross-terracing in steep slopes appears to be the best solution. However, from the point of view of the municipalities as well as the winegrowers, land readjustment is proving to be a major challenge due to the long periods of time required for implementation. According to the unanimous opinion of the participants, the state administration must be equipped with more personnel in order to speed up the planning process. In order to protect young plants from drying out through irrigation, winegrowers see the need for increased financial support.

KliA-Net has already taken an important step towards solving the problem, which was also mentioned on the podium: bringing together actors from viticulture and nature conservation and strengthening communication with each other. The regional conference at the Geisenheim University of Applied Sciences was the last networking meeting within the framework of the project on climate adaptation in viticulture using the example of the Rheingau region, which is funded by the Federal Environment Ministry. KliA-Net, whose project team is made up of staff from the town of Eltville, the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, the Rheingau Winegrowers' Association and Geisenheim University of Applied Sciences, has established a network of climate actors who want to implement climate adaptation measures in municipalities in the Rheingau region and especially in winegrowing.

All participants at the conference agreed that cooperation on water as a resource and on adaptation to the consequences of climate change must definitely be continued and expanded. The mayor of Eltville, Patrick Kunkel, made it clear that the municipalities in the Rheingau special-purpose association want to get more involved in cooperation with the existing project partners.

Information on the project and the results of the conference can be found at www.klianet.de.

Water resource conflicts in the Rheingau due to climate change (20.06.2022)
source: KliA-Net

Regional Conference of Viticulture Stakeholders at Geisenheim University of Applied Sciences

"Cooperations for Climate Adaptation in Viticultural Landscapes" - KliA-Net for short - is the name of the model project funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, whose aim is, among other things, to research and implement suitable measures to preserve the viticultural landscape with its functions and the vines in the face of growing consequences of climate change. A regional conference of climate stakeholders will be held at Geisenheim University of Applied Sciences on Wednesday, 22 June 2022, at 7 pm in the Gerd Erbslöh Lecture Hall (HS 30) in the campus building, at Von-Lade-Str. 1.

The three project partners, Geisenheim University of Applied Sciences, the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy and the town of Eltville am Rhein have been working on concrete measures in cooperation with the Rheingau Winegrowers' Association and experts from the fields of soil and water management since the start of the project in 2019. They are exchanging ideas with winegrowing businesses on recommendations for action to counter the climatic changes in the winegrowing region. More than 200 stakeholders have already joined the KliA-Net network, including many winegrowers. In the past years, there has been a dialogue on new research results and practical measures to make the landscape shaped by viticulture fit for climate change at a total of five network meetings.  

The regional conference now taking place will also be the last networking meeting within the framework of the project, which is funded until the end of October 2022. This time, the focus is on the topic of "water supply", on which, after an introduction to existing and future water conflicts in the region, Christiane Wagner from the Darmstadt Regional Council, Mario Schellhardt from Rheingau Wasser and Jochen Quasten from the town of Geisenheim will discuss on the podium. After an outlook on the continuation of the KliA-Net network, the participants will have the opportunity to further exchange ideas over a snack and drinks.

The interested public is also invited to the regional conference. Please register online at www.eltville-marktplatz.de/veranstaltungen/ by 20 June 2022.

At www.klianet.de there is further information on the current project status, relevant studies and the opportunity to join the network - because it is important to implement and consolidate the jointly developed measures from the funding programme. Therefore, network members will continue to receive relevant information in the future.

Geisenheim University of Applied Sciences and University of Belgrade concretise cooperation (13.06.2022)
Landscape Planning and Nature Conservation WG visits War Island in Belgrade © Eckhard Jedicke

AG Landscape Planning and Nature Conservation visits Belgrade


The Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture (University of Belgrade) and the Institute of Landscape Planning and Nature Conservation intend to collaborate in future in both teaching and research. In the spirit of intensive international cooperation, employees of the Competence Centre for Cultural Landscape (KULT) and the Institute for Landscape Planning and Nature Conservation, funded by the ERASMUS+ programme, visited the Faculty of Forestry at the University of Belgrade.

The two universities signed a cooperation agreement as early as 2020; due to the pandemic, the exchange between the two institutions initially began digitally. Prof. Dr. Eckhard Jedicke, Dr. Martin Reiss, Dr. Jörn Schultheiß and Katharina Adler travelled to Serbia from 23.05.2022 to 31.05.2022 to explore and profile the partnership. Especially with Prof. Dr. Jelena Tomićević-Dubljević and Prof. Dr. Ivana Lozjanin, they had intensive discussions about possible joint courses, projects and doctorates. As a first result, a seminar for students on the digitisation of cultural landscapes in Serbia is planned for next October in Belgrade. The sustainable development of floodplain landscapes with forests, grassland and wetlands on the Danube and Sava, small-structured agricultural and forest landscapes of the low mountain ranges, the management of protected areas and cultural heritage were further topics during excursions and a visit to the state-run Institute for Nature Conservation of Serbia.

Images

Street in Belgrade with shade providing umbrellas. © Katharina Adler
Flood problems in Serbia. This stream regularly floods the newly built-up area in front of it. © Katharina Adler
Ćelije Monastery was dedicated to St. George the Great Martyr and is located about 3 km southwest of Lajkovac (Serbia).. © Katharina Adler
A visit to the Serbian city of Novi Sad. In 2022, it will be the first city outside the EU to hold the title of European Capital of Culture. left to right: Eckhard Jedicke, Martin Reiss und Jörn Schultheiß. © Katharina Adler
KliA-Net: Regional conference on water supply connects viticulture and climate protection at Geisenheim University of Applied Sciences on 22 June (09.06.2022)
[Translate to English:] © Prof. Dr. Eckhard Jedicke

"Cooperations for Climate Adaptation in Viticultural Landscapes" - KliA-Net for short - is the name of the model project funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, whose aim is, among other things, to research and implement suitable measures to preserve the viticultural landscape with its functions and the vines in the face of growing consequences of climate change. A regional conference of climate stakeholders will be held at Geisenheim University of Applied Sciences, Gerd Erbslöh Lecture Hall, at 7 pm on Wednesday, 22 June 2022.

Since the start of the project in 2019, the three project partners, Geisenheim University of Applied Sciences, the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy and the town of Eltville am Rhein, have been working on concrete measures in cooperation with the Rheingau Winegrowers' Association and experts from the fields of soil and water management. They are in dialogue with winegrowing businesses on recommendations for action to counteract the climatic changes in the winegrowing region. More than 200 stakeholders have already joined the KliA-Net network, including many winegrowers. In the past years, there has been a dialogue on new research results and practical measures to make the landscape shaped by viticulture fit for climate change at a total of five network meetings.   

The regional conference now taking place will also be the last networking meeting within the framework of the project, which is funded until the end of October 2022. This time, the focus is on the topic of "water supply", on which, after an introduction to existing and future water conflicts in the region, Christiane Wagner from the Darmstadt Regional Council, Gilbert Laquai as representative of the Rheingau Winegrowers' Association, Mario Schellhardt from Rheingau Water and Jochen Quasten from the university town of Geisenheim will discuss on the podium. After an outlook on the continuation of the KliA-Net network, the participants will have the opportunity to further exchange ideas over a snack and drinks.

 

At www.klianet.de there is further information on the current project status, relevant studies and the possibility to join the network - because it is important to implement and consolidate the jointly developed measures from the funding programme. This is why network members will continue to receive relevant information in the future. 

Quelle: Pressemitteilung der Stadt Eltville vom 07. Juni 2022

Impact of glaciers on Arctic and alpine mountain waters (14.09.2022)
Proglacial stream Mída at a glacier terminus as the lowest end of the glacier Virkisjökull (Vatnajökull) © Martin Reiss

The AASER (Arctic & Alpine Stream Ecosystem Research) research network established a basis 25 years ago for understanding how glaciers affect the biodiversity, hydrology, geomorphology and water quality of rivers in eight European mountain regions. Meanwhile, glaciers around the world are melting rapidly due to climate warming and significant ice loss is occurring. The follow-up project AASER25 offers the opportunity to directly observe temporal changes until the end of 2022. Together with an international team of researchers (University of Leeds, University of Birmingham, Norwegian Institute for Water Research, Science Museum Trento, University of Geneva, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, University of Marburg), Dr. Martin Reiss from the Institute for Landscape Planning and Nature Conservation at Geisenheim University will incorporate the results obtained for a study area in Iceland (Vestari-Jökulsá river basin) into a Europe-wide analysis. This is being done to document the impacts of glacier retreat on downstream ecosystems, inform policy makers and conservation groups, and contribute to future IPCC and IPBES reports.

 

Contact:
Dr. Martin Reiss
Institut für Landschaftsplanung und Naturschutz
Kompetenzzentrum Kulturlandschaft
martin.reiss(at)hs-gm.de
Tel.: 06722 502 654

Images

Glacier mouth in Island © Martin Reiss