Department Environmental Chemistry

Cross Water

Managing micropollutants in surface waters in a transboundary context:
On the way to appropriate management Units.

One of the challenges for environmental management is the adequate adaptation of regulations to a specific environmental problem. From a natural-science perspective, meaningful boundaries can be defined such that the specific problem is not affected by processes outside of them. In water management, such boundaries are often defined by the hydrological catchment.

Actual management units however, rarely coincide with such spatial units defined based on natural sciences. This holds true for transboundary water management and specifically also for the management of micropollutants. Different jurisdictions may adhere to different political approaches and instruments trying to tackle the very same problem.

In this project, we follow an interdisciplinary approach combining mass flux analyses from natural sciences with political sciences and economic geography to obtain answers to the following questions:

  • How can one assess, quantify and visualise a possible mismatch between the physical extent of pollution of water bodies in the Rhine basin with micropollutants?
  • How can one make use of such information to propose effective policies for managing micropollutants in a transboundary context?

Co-PIs, collaborators

Philip Leifeld, Christian Stamm, Hans-Peter Bader, Andreas Moser, Ruth Scheidegger,            Fabrizio Fenicia

IPW Bern
Laura Herzog, LISER Luxembourg, Christophe Sohn, Marc Schneider 


Last update: 18 Dec. 2015