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A river isn’t a company, so why should it need management? The reply is simple: a wide range of demands is made on bodies of water in our heavily populated industrial regions. Wastewater from cities, businesses and industry has to be managed and protection from floods ensured. We want to go fishing, swimming, boating and much more. A river basin needs to be cared for if it is going to fulfil all these functions – care that can only be provided in coordinated collaboration by all stakeholders. That’s exactly what river basin management is: ensuring the best possible conditions for nature and mankind, regardless of political boundaries. Achieving optimal technical and optimal economic conditions are equally important goals of our efforts. State-of-the-art technology is as much a focus for us as cost-effective solutions are. River basin management has to be affordable. We can stand up to any comparisons, because our benchmarking activities have shown that we are among the industry’s best.
Holistic management of the Emscher and Lippe river basins has a history going back over a century. What began back then, regarding and managing the river and its surrounding area as an integral whole, is now a European standard. A long series of failed attempts to manage their unruly river on their own soon convinced the Emscher region’s people that it was necessary to cooperate beyond the boundaries of their own cities and their own self-interests. Time and time again, all individual flood protection initiatives were fruitless. The EMSCHERGENOSSENSCHAFT, Germany’s first water management association, was therefore founded in a joint initiative of neighbouring towns and cities and representatives from mining and industry in 1899. The LIPPEVERBAND followed around 25 years later, because along the Lippe and the Seseke, mine subsidence had also substantially disrupted the flow of water and impacted groundwater. Constant flooding of the surrounding areas caused widespread damage and stagnant water was a source of dangerous epidemics. A management plan for the entire river basin, modelled on the one used for the Emscher, provided a solution to these problems here too.
Comprehensive know-how and many years of experience have made us a proven partner and problem solver in all areas of water management. As managers of the Emscher and the Lippe, we carry out the following tasks: