Water Protection and Management

With approximately 33,000 kilometres of rivers and streams and about 3,000 lakes, Brandenburg is one of the water richest states in the Federal Republic of Germany. However, the water balance is very sensitive to climatic influences. The comparatively low national average of precipitation, high evaporation of lakes and low storage capacity of soils can cause quick yield losses in agriculture during prolonged drought and permanent damage to the waters in many regions of Brandenburg. With floods and heavy rainfall, however, the water can often only drain off slowly due to a lack of structural diversity and retention areas in and around the bodies of water, the low storage capacity of the landscape as well as the lack of gradient relief.

In a historically short period of time, the state of Brandenburg has been affected repeatedly on the Oder and Elbe by extreme floods with special trials and challenges as well as serious damage. To minimize this risk in the future, dykes are being improved, flood plains defined and the European Flood Risk Management Directive implemented.

In the face of scattered nutrient contamination from agriculture, mining, settlements, traffic, contaminated sites and acidification, another challenge for the Brandenburg bodies of water is to ensure the sustainable provision of good ecological water conditions. This is to be achieved in the long term through implementing the European Water Framework Directive.

In the area of public general interest, however, the security of drinking and waste water at socially acceptable prices constitutes an important task, whereupon part of the responsibility is with the Ministry for Internal Affairs and Municipal Issues due to its municipal constitution.

In regard to water legislation, the Ministry is the highest water authority that can pass a series of provincial regulations. The higher water authorities in the State Office for the Environment as well as the lower water authorities in the districts and towns are responsible for the implementation of water legislation, control and monitoring duties.

Letzte Aktualisierung: 01.08.2016