Over centuries, the Rhine has experienced numerous human interventions, such as river straightening and the construction of dykes and barrages, which have caused morphological changes. Several other pressures result from the dense population along large parts of the Rhine. The Rhine is therefore an ideal case to study the functioning of an extremely modified river and to develop management solutions for its sustainable use.
- Coordination: Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute, Karlsruhe
- Partner: Federal Institute of Hydrology, Koblenz
- Perimeter: the free-flowing part of the German Rhine, barrage Iffezheim to border NL
One of the fundamental challenges along the Rhine is to reach an agreement between its role as a waterway, the manifold other human uses and environmental demands to improve its ecological condition. The focus is on the following topics:
- Maintaining a dynamic balance of the river bed
- Ensuring user-dependent water availability
- Improving biodiversity
Research priorities in the Middle Rhine Supersite deal with sediment balance, hydrology and river restoration and biodiversity improvement, and more specifically on establishing an ecologically sustainable sediment management, adapting to the effects of hydrological extremes and aiming to find a balance between human use and ecological improvement.
Services which can be provided in the Middle Rhine Supersite comprise access to a multitude of data, to facilities and equipment, to methods and tools used for sample collection, observation and analysis, and to numerical models. The collection of user-specific data will be supported by the Supersite partners and knowledge about Supersite relevant topics will be made available. Additionally, the cooperation and exchange with experts and their support and training regarding Supersite specific topics are key elements of the services.