Die renaturierte Emscher in Dortmund-Schönau. Foto: Rupert Oberhäuser/EGLV

The Emschergenossenschaft

River basin management from the beginning

The Emschergenossenschaft

Balancing the different utilisation requirements that businesses, residents and nature bring to the Emscher in a sustainable and acceptable manner – this is the fundamental task of the Emschergenossenschaft as the river manager for the Emscher. For more than 100 years, we have been responsible for all matters relating to the Emscher and its subsidiary waterways. These include waterbody maintenance, flood protection, wastewater disposal, and stormwater and groundwater management, as well as the renaturalisation of the Emscher and general planning, consulting and implementation of all measures that are required for the Emscher Conversion.

Role model for further water associations

The Emschergenossenschaft was founded on 14 December 1899, as the first German water management association. This served as a model for a whole series of further water associations, including the Lippeverband, which was founded on 18 January 1926. The Emschergenossenschaft and Lippeverband cooperated closely from the start, and work together under the single roof of a harmonised organisational structure.

Sustainable requirements

In the River Emscher and River Lippe region, human activities compete with the needs of the natural environment for water resources. It is our task to ensure that these diverse requirements are brought into a sustainable state of equilibrium. Residential and commercial interests must be taken into account, while at the same time undertaking the renaturation of a flourishing river environment rich in biodiversity – no easy task in a region which would often face flooding were it not for our intervention. In Europe‘s largest urban area, between Dortmund and Duisburg as well as in the northern perimeter of the Lippe region, we offer modern, cost-effective water management that covers a broad range of responsibilities:

• Sewage treatment
• Care and maintenance of waterways
• Natural remodelling of open waste water canals
• Flood protection
• Regulation of water flow
• Management of groundwater and rainwater

The River Emscher

The River Emscher is a right-bank tributary of the Rhine. Its source lies southwest of Dortmund in Holzwickede, and from there it flows into the Rhine some 85 km away in Dinslaken. The Emscher drains the northern border area of the Bergisches Land and the Sauerland region, as well as parts of the right-bank lower Rhine region lowlands. It forms the central commercial waterways axis of the most densely-populated region in Germany. Characteristic for the river and its tributaries are a shallow gradient and low-volume flow. Around 2.2 million people live in the River Emscher catchment area, between its source and its confluence with the Rhine.

The Emscher conversion

The Emscher conversion is a technical and planning challenge.

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