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Young researchers discuss global water scarcity

Press Release No. 236/2010
21 October 2010
Marsilius Kolleg Autumn School being held 9 – 17 November 2010

Worldwide issues of water scarcity are the focus of an interdisciplinary autumn school being hosted by the Marsilius Kolleg from 9 – 17 November 2010 at Heidelberg University. A research group from the Kolleg under the direction of Prof. Dr. Werner Aeschbach-Hertig (environmental physics), Prof. Dr. Olaf Bubenzer (geography) and Prof. Dr. Ute Mager (law) has invited renowned scientists and water experts to hold lectures and discussions with 30 selected young researchers from Germany and abroad.   BASF SE is supporting the event and will also participate.

“Water is a key resource that is distributed very unevenly through out the world. In dry regions such as the Near East, water distribution issues are a source of major political tension”, explains Prof. Bubenzer from the Department of Geography of Heidelberg University. Prof. Mager (Faculty of Law) therefore sees a greater need for regulation at both the national and international level. “To be effective, legal regulations need to draw on the knowledge from the natural sciences to a greater degree than in the past.”  “The key to truly sustainable management of scarce water resources,” explains Prof. Aeschbach-Hertig from the Institute of Environmental Physics, is the “consolidation of perspectives from law, social science and natural science.”

The event will launch with an introduction into the various disciplines that deal with the science of water, such as hydrobiology. Then other aspects will be covered, such as efficient use of water, water treatment, water transport, and energy use. Jordan will be used as an example to highlight the legal aspects of water.

On Wednesday, 10 November 2010, geographer Prof. Dr. Wolfram Mauser from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München will lecture on “The resource of water – status and perspectives of a global analysis”. The lecture is open to the public and will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Old University.

The Marsilius Kolleg Autumn School is being conducted at the International Science Forum Heidelberg (IWH). You can find more information about the event on the Internet under

Tobias Just
Marsilius Kolleg
Phone (06221) 54-3980

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