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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - IRI THESys

Water Dialogue

The IRI THESys project “Water dialogue” is looking for participants – understood as companions of knowledge – who want to enter into a transcontinental dialogue between Germany and southern Africa about water issues.

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What do you do when you're thirsty? What do you do when it´s raining and what about when there is not enough rain? And: Who owns water actually?

Water is a basic human requirement and a matter of sheer survival, it is a natural raw material and an economic commodity, it is a matter of course and a lifestyle product, it is an instrument of power and a scarce good - too much or too little of it may lead to disaster.

The project “Water dialogue” is looking for participants from Berlin/Brandenburg and South Africa – understood as companions of knowledge – who want to enter into a transcontinental dialogue about water issues. Aim is to share local experiences for a better understanding of global relationships.

Individual knowledge concerning water depends significantly on the given access to water and its role in daily life. It's obvious that this differs in different places around the world. So, who could talk best about daily life and local circumstances than citizens themselves? But which questions arise against the background of the own living environment that we could ask people from another country?  

The project “Water Dialogue” is based on a real participation and collaboration and is addressed to interested people of all ages and affiliation. In this way, citizens act as co-scientists and support IRI THESys' researcher who are going to South Africa for fieldwork. Participants' own interests, ideas and questions are thereby always welcome. 

How do we proceed? We meet at sporadic intervals to discuss water in our daily life and to formulate questions we want to ask people living in South Africa – the same is going on in South Africa where people from Kwazulu-Natal collect questions to ask people living in Berlin and Brandenburg. Finally, THESys scientists will take questions and answers along on their field research so that a real dialogue across continents will emerge. 

The THESys Water Dialogue started during Humboldt-Universität's Long Night of Science on 10 May 2014, where Karen Lebek introduced her current research project on Southern Africa’s Hydro-Economy and Water Security, and Tobias Krüger presented his self-composed water music. The first workshop in Kwazulu-Natal/South Africa is going to take place in summer 2014, while the Berlin workshop is planned for January 2015.

What do you know about water? What did you always want to know? Share your knowledge and your curiosity with others!

Water music

"I tried to transform classic hydrological data timeseries into music. The timeseries are: precipitation (mainly rain & snow), evaporation from land and water surfaces & transpiration by plants, river discharge. I assigned each of them a note so that they form a nice C major triad: precipitation gets the 3rd octave G (the fifth), evaporation/transpiration gets the 3rd octave C (the root), discharge gets the 3rd octave E (the major third - really defining the chord). The volume of each note now is controlled by the value of the data - when the timeseries goes up the note gets louder. I did all this in the software Matlab using a sine wave to produce the sound - this is a bit sterile and could be improved using more natural sound samples." Tobias Krüger


Tobias Krüger Photo: Andresa Süß
Photo:Andreas Süß

Prof. Dr. Tobias Krüger, Research Group Leader
Phone: +49 (030) 2093-66342
E-Mail: tobias.krueger@hu-berlin.de

Photo:Udo Fischer

Anne Dombrowski, Science Communication
Phone: +49 (030) 2093-66334
E-Mail: anne.dombrowski@hu-berlin.de