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Low flows in the Rhine catchment

International scientific symposium - "Science meets Practice"
September 20, 2017 to September 21, 2017

What do we know about low flows in the Rhine basin and how to develop further practical instructions to better reduce negative impacts of low flow events? How can we better monitor or manage low flow events?


In recent years there has been a shift from looking not only at the implications of floods in rivers and their impacts on ecosystems but also towards low flows. During the last decades several low flow periods occurred with severe impacts not only on the river itself but also on the civil society. Low flow periods affect navigation, hydropower production and the environment. Indeed, just as floods, low  flows are natural events which can considerably restrict different uses and functions of the river Rhine and impact water quality and the aquatic ecosystem. Therefore the management of low flows was put high on the agenda of river authorities and they had to come with practical solutions.

We would like to welcome you.

Olivier Overney  –  Hans Moser

Hotel Dorint an der Messe
Schönaustrasse 10
CH-4058 Basel
Final Program and Time Table

Day 1 - September 20, 2017


09.00 - 09.30
Registration (coffee & tea)

09.30 - 10.00
Welcome and opening of the symposium  – Host Olivier Overney , BAFU / Hans Moser, President  of CHR

10.00 - 10.30
What is the problem of low flow in the Rhine catchment? Setting the scene – Gregor Laaha, Boku, Austria

Session 1: Processes – Hydrology & Atmosphere – Parameters

Moderator Hans Moser

10.30 - 10.55
The ASG project in relation to low flows – Jörg Belz, BfG, Germany

10.55 - 11.20
Some current challenges in setting up and operating sub-seasonal to seasonal predictions of low flows in Switzerland   – Massimiliano  Zappa, WSL, Switzerland

11.20 - 11.55
Coffee & tea break

11.55 - 12.20
Hydro-geologic controls on low flow dynamics – Philip Brunner, University Neuchatel, Switzerland

12.20 - 12.45
Low flow in Switzerland on different spatial and temporal scales – Rolf Weingartner,  Uni Bern, Switzerland  

12.45 - 14.00
Lunch (all participants)

14.00 - 14.25
Monthly and seasonal predictions  of Rhine low flows and water levels based on hydrologic, atmospheric and oceanic data  –  Monica Ionita Scholz, Alfred Wegener Institute, Germany

Session 2: Low Flow Impacts

Moderator Olivier Overney

14.25 - 14.50
Low flows and impacts on the Rhine – (recent) study results of the ICPR expert group Low Flows  – Gerhard Brahmer, HLNUG, Germany

14.50 - 15.15
Low flows and impacts on navigation – Norbert Kriedel, CCNR, France

15.15 - 15.45
Coffee & tea break

15.45 - 16.10
Low-flow forecasting: principles, outcomes, and operational implementation of the French PREMHYCE project – Pierre Nicolle, IRSTEA, France

16.10 - 16.35
Ecological aspects of low flow – Laura Gangi,  ICPR Secretariat, Koblenz, Germany

16.35 - 17.15
Looking back on day 1 and preview on day 2 - Moderator Rolf Weingartner

Dinner in Hotel Dorint

Day 2 - September 21, 2017

08.30 - 09.o0
Arrival of participants (coffee & tea)

Session 2: Low Flow Impacts (continuation)

Moderator Olivier Overney

09.00 - 09.25
Focus on fresh water supply in the Dutch Rhine Delta   – Vincent Beijk, RWS-WVL, The Netherlands  

09.25 - 09.50
Drought impact inventory (EU database) – Irene Kohn, Uni Freiburg, Germany

09.50 - 10.15
Impacts of low flows on the (water) energy sector – Damien Puygrenier,
Division  Technique Générale, EDF, France

10.15 - 10.45
Coffee & tea break

Session 3: Measures to cope with low flows / water shortage

Moderator Siegfried Demuth

10.45 - 11.10
Low flow management and local water scarcity  –  Samuel Zahner, BAFU, Switzerland

11.10 - 11.35
Instruments for low flow management in Bavaria based on LAWA-guidance – Werner Wahliss, Bayrisches Landesamt für Umwelt, Hof, Germany  

11.35 - 12.00
Hydrological drought monitoring at EU level through a novel low-flow index –  Carmelo Cammalleri, Joint Research Center, Ispra, Italy

12.00 - 12.30
Wrap up and advices for CHR network how to proceed – all reporters and chairs/CHR

12.30 - 14.00
Lunch (all participants)

End of the symposium


Registration is closed