Institute for Resource Management
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Factors influencing Europe’s water consumption – a comparative analysis of freshwater consumption in Europe's metropolises and how it can be managed

How much water does a person need? – Study on freshwater consumption in Europe


Which factors promote sustainable structuring of water consumption in different European cities? inter 3 and the Institute for Philosophy and History of Literature, Science and Technology at the Technische Universität Berlin are investigating which factors and environmental influences European water consumption is dependent on. This project is being funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Objective: Defining influencing factors – managing consumption

Alongside the formation of a Europe-wide research network, the following research questions are of interest:

Which factors, within specific historical and current configurations, promote sustainable structuring of individual water consumption?

Can regions with increasing water consumption "learn from" regions with decreasing consumption?

To what extent can the knowledge acquired on the management of resource consumption be transferred to other branches?

Approach: Researching consumption characteristics and structuring them sustainably

Existing European water consumption research findings are linked to new data in a historic-comparative analysis. To this end, water consumption case studies are carried out in various European countries, in areas abundant with water as well as in areas with water scarcity. From this comparison, conclusions are drawn on promising strategies for reducing water consumption. Once all the data has been collected, the respective factors are brought together to form an overall picture of each region or country, to clarify interactions.

Results: European network for water consumption research

As part of the research project inter 3 is establishing a Europe-wide research network for water consumption. Building on the results from the case studies and the comparative study, concrete recommendations will ultimately be presented to the relevant political institutions on the implementation of a far-reaching effective management strategy for potable water consumption.

Project name:
Factors influencing Europe’s water consumption – a comparative analysis of freshwater consumption in Europe's metropolises and how it can be managed

Contact:
Dr. Susanne Schön   
Tel.: +49(0)30 34 34 74 52

Client:
Federal Ministry of Education and Research  (BMBF)

Location: Berlin

Duration: 2007 – 2008