International Commision for the Hydrology of the Rhine basin - logo

Secretariat: PO Box 2232 | 3500 GE Utrecht | The Netherlands | T +31 887 985 233 |

You are here

Spring Seminar - Socio-economic influences on the discharge of the River Rhine

March 26, 2014 to March 27, 2014


Currently hydrological models to predict discharge for the Rhine include prediction of change under future climate change scenarios. However, it is expected that discharge will not only vary through climate change, but will also be influenced by future changes in socio-economic development within the Rhine basin. Notable changes in user functions influenced by population density, changes in land use for agriculture and forestry and energy and other industrial production are expected to influence the discharge of the Rhine.

In the past various projects have investigated changes in land use on the discharge of the Rhine, often with use of hydrological models. This has resulted in valuable insights into current and future changes in discharge functions of the Rhine.  However, up to now changes in socio-economic situation and resulting changes in water abstraction and use have to date received less attention within these models. In addition, the methods used thus far have been developed for specific models and may not be transferable to others making it difficult to compare results.

Before implementing a project that will have a focus on the socio-economic aspects that influence water use, the seminar will contribute to get a better focus on the state of the art on socio-economics at this moment. Within this first CHR spring seminar main current water use functions of different users functions will assessed on how these user functions could change under different socio-economic development scenarios. Planned is to have the focus on the low-flow situation, as it is expected that the user functions will have the largest influences under low-flow conditions.


To identify/assess the current use and future developments on abstraction and consumptive use by the most significant user functions (e.g. agriculture, energy and industry) in the international Rhine River basin.
How could these parameters change under influence of socio-economic developments and how can these changes be incorporated in the existing hydrological models?
The analyses of the current level of enforcement of past and current water-related policies will provide insight on the ability of different riparian countries to meet future requirements following from developments in climate and economic trends.


Gallusstrasse 50
A-6900 Bregenz
Programme and time table

Final Programme
Day 1 – 26 March 2014

Session 0: Welcome – Moderator: Eric Sprokkereef, CHR Secretariat

08.30 – 09.00 Welcome and registration

09.00 – 09.15 Welcome, general introduction – Hans Moser – President of CHR

Session 1: Background – Moderator: Hans Moser, President of CHR

09.15 – 09.50 Keynote 1: The Alpine water tower – past, present, future – Bruno Schädler (former FOEN and University of Berne)

09.50 – 10.25 Keynote 2: Manifestation of socio-economic influences in discharge patterns – Jörg Uwe Belz, Federal Institute of Hydrology, Koblenz

10.25 – 11:00 Keynote 3: Discharges in the future – Jaap Kwadijk, Deltares

11.00 – 11.30 Coffee / Tea break

Session 2: Experiences, Scenarios – Moderator: Mark de Bel, Deltares

11.30 – 12.05 Delta scenarios – an outlook on future land and water use  – Willem Bruggeman, Deltares

12.05 – 12.40 Socio economic scenarios in interdisciplinary modeling projects– Roman Seidl, ETH Zürich

12.40 – 13.15 Building value data for normalizing damage data and develop socio economic scenarios – Franz Prettenthaler, Joanneum Research, Graz

13.15 – 14.15 Lunch break

Session 3: Energy, Industry, Domestic water demand – Moderator: Astrid Björnsen, University of Berne

14.15 – 14.40 Abflussvorhersage am Alpenrhein – die Rolle der Speicherseen – Hans Peter Wächter, Rheinunternehmen AG, Widnau

14.40 – 15.05 Environmental benefits and impacts of modern pumped storage plants in the Austrian catchment of the Alpine Rhine – Peter Matt, Vorarlberger Illwerke AG, Vandans

15.05 – 15.30 Flooding of the residual lakes of the Rhinish lignite area by use of the river Rhine - Andreas Wagner and Dirk Hüsener, RWE Power and LANUV North-Rhine-Westphalia

15.30 – 15.55 Scenarios for drinking water and waste waster in the Ruhr area - Michael Kersting, RUFIS, Bochum

15.55 – 16.25 Coffee / Tea break

Session 4: Agriculture, Forestry, Shipping and Ecological functions – Moderator: Enno Nilson, Federal Institute of Hydrology

16.25 – 16.50 Water and Swiss agriculture – Bruno Schädler (former FOEN and University of Berne)

16.50 – 17.15 Integrating decision making in the agricultural sector into ecohydrological simulations: the GLOWA-Danube approach – Tim Reichenau, University of Cologne

17.15 – 17.40 Prediction, valuation and ecological effects of future stream water quality based on socio-economic scenarios and climate change predictions for 2050 – Nele Schuwirth, EAWAG

17.40 – 18.05 Shipping on the Rhine – developments and prospects for the demand and supply side, with consideration of the climate change – Hans van der Werf, Central Commission for Rhine Navigation, Strasbourg

20.00 – 23.00: Social event and Participants' dinner at the Hotel Schwärzler

Day 2 – 27 March 2014

Session 5: Going forward – Moderator: Willem Bruggeman, Deltares

09.00 – 10.00 Keynote 4: Socio economic scenarios incorporation into hydrological modelling – Martina Flörke, University Kassel

10.00 – 10.45 Gap analysis

10.45 – 11.15 Coffee / Tea break

11.15 – 11.45 Next steps

11.45 – 12.15 Summary and wrap up

12.15 Closing of the spring seminar

Coordinating Committee

Prof. Dr.Günter Blöschl
Technical University of Vienna
Karlsplatz 13
A-1030 Vienna
Tel. +43 1 58801 22315

Dr. Astrid Björnsen Gurung
Mountain Research Initiative
c/o University of Berne
Erlachstr. 9a
CH-3012 Berne
Tel. +41 31 631 51 41

Dr. Enno Nilson
Federal Institute of Hydrology
P.O. Box 200253
D-56002 Coblence
Tel. +49 261 1306 5325

Mark de Bel
P.O. Box 177
NL-2600 AA Delft
Tel. +31 6 2075 3446

Ute Menke/Eric Sprokkereef
CHR secretariat
P.O. Box 17
NL-8200 AA Lelystad
Tel. +31 6 519 97 745
Tel. +31 6 536 49 414


Andréassian Vazken Irstea France
de Bel Mark Deltares Netherlands
Belz Jörg Federal Institute of Hydrology Germany
Bérod Dominique Federal Office for the Environment Switzerland
Björnsen Astrid Eidg. Forschungsanstalt WSL Switzerland
Brahmer Gerhard Hessisches Landesamt für Umwelt und Geologie Germany
Bruggeman Willem Deltares Netherlands
Cullmann Johannes IHP/HWRP Secretariat - Federal Institute of Hydrology Germany
van Dokkum Ronald Rijkswaterstaat WVL Netherlands
Ehling Elisabeth University of Osnabrück, Institut für Umweltsystemforschung Germany
Flörke Martina University Kassel Germany
Foltyn Maria Landesamt für Umwelt Bavaria Germany
Groen Klaas Rijkswaterstaat, WVL Netherlands
Hüsener Dirk LANUV NRW Germany
Kersting Michael RUFIS, DYNAKLIM Germany
Knüppe Kathrin University of Osnabrueck Germany
Kriedel Norbert Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine France
Kwadijk Jaap Deltares Netherlands
Ladinig Gernot Vorarlberger Illwerke AG Austria
Lammersen Rita Rijkswaterstaat, WVL Netherlands
Mähr Markus Internationale Rheinregulierung Germany
Mathis Clemens Amt der Vorarlberger Landesregierung Austria
Matt Peter Vorarlberger Illwerke AG Austria
Menke Ute Rijkswaterstaat, WVL Netherlands
Moser Hans Federal Institute of Hydrology Germany
Müller Gabriele Bundesministerium für Land und Forstwirtschaft, Umwelt und Wasserwirtschaft Austria
Nilson Enno Federal Institute of Hydrology (BfG) Germany
Prettenthaler Frans Joanneum Research Austria
Reichenau Tim University of Cologne Germany
Ruijgh Erik Deltares Netherlands
Schädler Bruno University of Berne and Chy Switzerland
Seidl Roman ETH Zurich Switzerland
Schmocker-Fackel Petra Federal Office for the Environment Switzerland
Schuwirth Nele EAWAG - Systems Analysis and Modelling Switzerland
Sprokkereef Eric Rijkswaterstaat, VWM Netherlands
Wächter Hans-Peter Rheinunternehmen Germany
Wagner Andreas RWE Power AG Germany
Weber Johann Landesamt für Umwelt Bavaria Germany
van der Werf Hans Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine France
van de Wetering Ben International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine Germany
van Zwol Carien Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment Netherlands