IWRM Karlsruhe 2012

Karlsruhe, (PresseBox) - .
- IWRM Karlsruhe opens with greetings and eminent keynote speakers
- Fifteen sessions with best practice examples
- Awarding of the innovation prize NEO2012

The world is facing a huge challenge to provide people with clean drinking water and sanitary facilities. Already today, with seven billion people on the planet, drinking water is scarce, at least in many regions of the world. The prognosis for 2050 is more than ten billion people, although no significant increase in global water resources is expected. With our current technology, the desalination of sea water demands a considerable input of energy. The global trend toward urbanization and the unbridled growth of mega cities aggravates the situation even more. It is therefore becoming more and more a question of the integrated management of water, food and energy. Germany has acquired a great deal of know-how and technical expertise in the field of water science. The IWRM Karlsruhe 2012 refers to these existentially important interdependencies in its title, Interactions of Water with Energy and Materials in Urban Areas and Agriculture. Topical issues associated with this subject will be discussed in the Karlsruhe Convention Centre from 21 to 22 of November.

"For a long time, the individual tasks of water management, including the sourcing of drinking water or industrial water and the treatment of waste water, were considered separately. Now we understand, however, that is it always one and same water we are talking about," says Prof. Hartwig Steusloff, Chairman of the IWRM Karlsruhe Advisory Board. "Water is unarguably a finite resource which is in constant circulation. Regardless of how it is used, the volume of water that flows into the individual systems leaves them again in roughly the same amount - though in a different state," explains Steusloff. The central idea of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) is that our present problems can only be solved through cooperation on all levels. The goal is to use the existing water resources in an ecologically and economically sustainable manner and with general social acceptance.

"The IWRM discusses the controversial and urgently relevant topic of water resource management at the highest international level. This topic is in good hands at this location, because renowned institutes such as the Fraunhofer IOSB or the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT) have produced not only pioneering research results, but also implementable solutions," explains Britta Wirtz, the Managing Director of Karlsruher Messeund Kongress-GmbH.

Dr Karl Eugen Huthmacher, director of the department "Provision for the Future - Basic and Sustainability Research" at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), will be giving a keynote address on Wednesday 21 November 2012 on International Research Cooperation for an Integrated Water Resources Management. He is followed by Franz Untersteller, Minister for Environment, Climate and Energy Economics in the state of Baden- Württemberg, who is talking on the subject of The Orientation of Water Economics in a Global Context and the Energy Transition in Baden-Württemberg. Moreover, Tanja Gönner, Chairperson of the German Society for Technological Cooperation, will be speaking about Integrated Water Resources Management as a Challenge for Developing Countries.

"The concept of IWRM fits perfectly with the holistic approach to water research at the KIT. The subject of water has a long and successful history in Karlsruhe, and, together with energy and mobility, it is a characteristic research area for the KIT. KIT researchers are working on projects around the world that aim to provide an adequate, reliable water supply," stresses the Vice President for Research and Innovation at the KIT, Dr Peter Fritz. "In regard to Integrated Water Resources management, the KIT is leading the way in the Helmholtz Water Alliance. Newly created professorships in the areas of atmosphere, soil and ground water have also been integrated in KIT water research."

This year's presentation programme comprises a total of fifteen sessions with best practice examples and research results. Key topics include water management in urban regions, water and energy management, administration of water catchment areas, sustainable use of water resources, climate change and water management, and socio-economic criteria for water distribution. Additionally, and for the first time at the IWRM Karlsruhe, the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) will be holding its own presentation series on 22 November 2012. On both days, the poster session offers an excellent opportunity for professional discussions. The best three posters from the altogether 68 posters on display will be granted the Best Poster Award of the IWRM Karlsruhe 2012.

Moreover, NEO2012, the innovation prize of the Karlsruhe Technology Region, endowed with €20,000, will be awarded during an evening event on 21 November. The applicants have submitted their application-oriented work on innovative environmental technologies in the water sector, with four fields of action: life cycle assessments, ecosystems, water chemistry and geophysics.

International expertise around the future-oriented topic IWRM

The IWRM Karlsruhe 2012 aims to fuse the international knowledge and the experience of experts in relation to integrated water resource management, and to create a foundation for new approaches and technologies. The large pool of specialist knowledge in the region was a decisive factor in the choice of Karlsruhe as the location of this pioneering event: A powerful network of expertise pertaining to IWRM has developed here, incorporating top universities, application oriented institutes, water centres and companies, who participate in projects around the world, IWRM Karlsruhe is organised by the Karlsruher Messe- und Kongress-GmbH and the Fraunhofer IOSB. The Karlsruhe Institute for Technology participates as a co-organiser, along with other partners from science and industry, including, for example, the German Water Partnership, Siemens AG, the Water Technology Centre and the State Office for Environmental Protection in Baden-Württemberg.

The Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) has assumed patronage of "Water research and water technology". Ministerial Department Director Dr Karl Eugen Huthmacher will address the subject of "International Research Cooperation for an Integrated Water Resources Management" in his keynote speech. The Ministry for Environment, Climate and Energy Economic in Baden- Württemberg has assumed patronage of "Water Economics" at IWRM Karlsruhe 2012. Minister Franz Untersteller (MdL) will hold the introductory keynote speech on the "Orientation of Water Economics in a Global Context and the Energy Transition in Baden-Württemberg".

Further information on the complete conference programme can be found at: www.iwrm-karlsruhe.de

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