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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - IRI THESys

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Projects | IRI THESys | Education | Deutschlandstipendium | Themenklasse 2019/20 | Research Summary | The Müggelsee: An Analysis of Actors, Drinking Water Supply and the Ecosystem

The Müggelsee: An Analysis of Actors, Drinking Water Supply and the Ecosystem

Theresa Hohmann, Jana Stahl and Lysianne Wolf

English Deutsch

Corona Müggelsee 3 (1)Lake Müggelsee in the southeast of Berlin plays a key role in the Berlin area for the supply of drinking water and as a valuable habitat for lots of organisms in the ecosystem. This group of the Themenkasse 2019/20 investigates the relationship in the field of actors around Lake Müggelsee including decision-makers, as well as the interrelations between the lake in its function as an ecosystem and as a drinking water reservoir.


On the basis of expert interviews with representatives of the UBB environmental project, Berliner Wasserbetriebe, the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, the Berlin Senate Department for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection and the Federation for the Environment and Nature Conservation Germany, this work points to areas of tension and actor dynamics in the preparation of the water-supply-concept for Berlin until 2040 (WVK 2040). The focus is on the overall management of Lake Müggelsee and investigates the consequences of the drought years 2018 and 2019, the positioning of individual actors playing into the WVK 2040 and the elaborate possible improvements for the future security of the drinking water supply and the ecosystem.


The very hot and dry years 2018 and 2019 exposed the Müggelsee to significant climate stress. The groundwater level sank, the thermal stratification changed, and fish mortality could become a reality in the Müggelsee in the future. In addition, further dry summers will pose new challenges for the ecosystem and the water cycle. At the same time, a conflict is developing around the involvement and participation of nature conservation associations and other public interest groups, which do not see the health of the ecosystem as being sufficiently addressed in decision-making processes on water supply. Thus, the existing WVK 2040 meets with criticism from various environmental associations regarding the starting points set for the planned water withdrawal. On the other hand, Berlin's drinking water supply has to be secured.


The analysis of the group shows different ideas of the actors. The ideas about an ideal situation (or rather different problem awareness) makes the cooperation between different actors within the Müggelsee-management difficult. Accordingly, it is clear that a stronger exchange and more intensive cooperation between the actors would be desirable. Furthermore, the problematics of the Müggelsee must be discussed more in public, in order to create an awareness of the interrelationships and conflicts.