Residents of the Berlin metropolitan region can contribute to a major project that is testing and creating solutions to help the region adapt to the impacts of climate change. Four regional organisations are leading work to establish a test site focusing on regional water management as part of the flagship EU-funded project, IMPETUS: Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin (KWB); Berlin Senate Department for the Environment, Urban Mobility, Consumer Protection and Climate Action (SenUMVK); Berliner Wasserbetriebe (BWB); and Global Climate Forum e.V. (GCF). To launch a varied programme of activities in which members of the public, researchers, environmental groups, industry, media and other interested parties can get involved, KWB, SenUMVK, BWB and GCF invite local people to share regional knowledge, expertise, concerns and ideas in a fact-finding survey.
With a 14.8 million euro budget, IMPETUS is a 4-year programme to accelerate Europe's response to climate change. The Berlin metropolitan region is the IMPETUS project’s ‘Continental’ case study, one of 7 sites in different bioclimatic regions across Europe where innovative solutions that build resilience to climate change will be tested and demonstrated; others are in Latvia, Greece, Italy, Spain, Norway and the Netherlands.
The city of Berlin and its metropolitan region rely on groundwater as the drinking water production source. Treated wastewater is currently released back into the local freshwaters, resulting in a partially closed water management cycle within the city area. Brandenburg state has a higher reliance on water for industries, agriculture and ecosystems. Although the region has a relatively high surface area of rivers and lakes, natural flow is low and precipitation is decreasing. The rising pressure of climate change is impacting the natural water cycle. A 40% reduction of summertime natural surface water runoff is expected by 2040.
Be part of the climate-change solution
The Continental demonstration site will offer citizens, businesses, industry, media and civil society representatives opportunities to take part in a variety of activities with multidisciplinary research teams and environmental policy makers, with the goal of establishing a more permanent cooperative effort in the Berlin metropolitan region. Together, these local participants can help create tools and information that capture and share knowledge, to address the regional climate-change challenges in an appropriate and effective way. Successful solutions could influence local policy making and have the
potential to be re-used in other German or European regions, to help communities become more resilient and adapt to climate change impacts.
Local organisations, local focus
KWB, BWB, SenUMVK and GCF are taking the leading role in the Continental region’s IMPETUS project activities, where they will establish regional water management in a ‘decision theatre’. KWB is an international non-profit research centre focusing on urban water systems, which is coordinating the Continental site team and demonstration activities. BWB is the public utility responsible for Berlin's drinking water supply and wastewater disposal. BWB contributes to IMPETUS by providing data and experience from managing Berlin's urban water cycle. SenUMVK is responsible for the technical and legal supervision of BWB, for groundwater protection, management of surface waters, and the security of drinking water supplies. In IMPETUS SenUMVK has various responsibilities in many tasks. GCF is a global association that performs research in connection with climate change and related challenges. GCF is a key partner for the successful delivery and activities of the IMPETUS Continental demonstration site and boosting the project's impact.
“This is an exciting opportunity to get involved, create a collaborative network and build solutions for the future of our region, communities and country. We kindly invite anyone with interest or knowledge about climate change and its local impacts to help us kick-start this important work by answering a few survey questions in the coming few weeks.”
- Hella Schwarzmüller, KWB Head of Groundwater Department
IMPETUS: Turning climate commitments into action
Launched on 1 October 2021, IMPETUS has the objective to turn climate commitments into tangible, urgent actions to protect communities and the planet. The IMPETUS project consortium consists of 32 partner organisations from 9 European countries. The 4-year programme is part of a wider set of projects that support the European Union’s ambitions to become the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050. IMPETUS is working in close collaboration with sister climate-change projects REGILIENCE, ARSINOE and TransformAr. The IMPETUS project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme in the Green Deal call, under grant agreement No 101037084.