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Heavy rainfall and urban flash floods will pose major challenges to our society in the future. In cooperation with the environmental office of the City of Frankfurt a.M., DAHLEM developed heavy rain hazard maps, which were created as part of an overall concept for protection against heavy rain and are now available online in the geodata portal. Dipl.-Ing. Tim Schneider, employee of the Darmstadt office, managed the concept. He has been a DWA-certified specialist planner for heavy rainfall prevention since 2019 and has been working intensively at DAHLEM on the topics of heavy rainfall and urban flash floods since 2010. He sees protection against heavy rainfall as a joint municipal task and was particularly pleased about the publication: "The fact that the heavy rain hazard maps produced by DAHLEM are available online to all citizens is an important step in the context of climate change adaptation. The environmental agency has done a very good job with the publication of the maps. In addition to the main results of the analysis, plenty of further information on related topics is also available."

In 2017, the design for the construction of the fully biological wastewater treatment plant Peja in Kosovo started. After more than 2.5 years of construction, the plant has been put into operation. With a treatment plant capacity of 81,000 population equivalents, it is one of the first wastewater treatment plants in Kosovo. An anaerobic-mesophilic digester stabilises the sewage sludge obtained and the plant's own power supply is provided by several CHP units using sewage gas. In addition to domestic wastewater treatment, the connection of a supraregional brewery is planned. Wastewater Treatment Plant Peja is one of the first steps to improve the wastewater infrastructure in Kosovo. Wastewater from residential areas usually ends up untreated in surface waters. While area-wide sewerage systems for wastewater discharge are largely in place in urban areas, the country lacks municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plants. The "Wastewater Management South-West Kosovo IV" programme aims to improve wastewater disposal and treatment in several cities, especially with regard to sustainable protection of natural water resources and improvement of the living conditions of the population. The programme provides for extensive wastewater disposal measures for the city of Peja, financed by KfW, SECO and local own funds from the city administration and the Republic of Kosovo. The total construction costs of the measures in the City of Peja amount to around €20 million. They include the construction of a main collector to transport the wastewater to the treatment plant site 6 km away, another collector to connect the southern city areas, stormwater overflows and a fully biological treatment plant. The municipal waste management company RWC HIDRODRINI JSC commissioned DAHLEM with the design, functional call for tender and construction supervision of the wastewater treatment plant as well as the transport collectors.

It was a historic moment when Pumping Station Oberhausen was commissioned on Friday, 20 August 2021, in the presence of the North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister Armin Laschet. For it is only with the start-up of the enormous pumps with a delivery rate of up to 16,000 l/s that the approx. 60 km long Emscher underground sewer (AKE) between Dortmund and Dinslaken also takes on its function of transporting wastewater. Previously, the Emscher served as the "cesspool of the Ruhr" for over 170 years and was long considered the dirtiest river in Germany. The project of the century to renaturalise the Emscher took many years and was completed on time. For the realisation of Pumping Station Oberhausen alone, more than ten years of planning and construction are behind the parties involved, in addition to, for example, Emschergenossenschaft‘s  various planning offices, experts, construction companies and approval authorities. Emschergenossenschaft commissioned DAHLEM with the design of the almost 50-metre deep pumping station of Pumping Station Oberhausen, which also sets architectural standards in the part above ground. In addition to the design, DAHLEM, as part of a joint venture, was responsible also for the construction supervision of the complex process, control, energy and machine technology.


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The focus of this year's IWASA symposium in the fight against floods is increasingly moving in the direction of heavy rain and flash flood events. In the past two decades, the formerly pure flood protection has evolved into flood risk management. Experts and the public focused on this development, accompanied by the requirements of the EU Flood Directive, in particular flood events on rivers, triggered by the flood events on the Rhine (1993 and 1995), Oder (1997) and Elbe (2002 and 2013). DAHLEM is represented with an information stand at the conference. You are welcome to discuss the high relevance of the topic, due to new requirements, with experienced colleagues from our Darmstadt office.

Company News

Since May 2021, DAHLEM has started supporting KUER.NRW as a specialist. KUER.NRW is a funding programme implemented by pro Ruhrgebiet e.V. and Business Angels Netzwerk Deutschland (BAND) on behalf of the Ministry of Environment, Agriculture, Nature and Consumer Protection of the State of NRW. KUER supports "green startups" in North Rhine-Westphalia, founders and startups having an innovative product, process or service idea with market potential in the KUER sectors of climate, environment, energy and resource conservation. Specially accredited KUER mentors, specialists, industry experts and angel investors accompany them through all phases of their startup - from idea generation and the preparation of the business plan to company creation, market launch and financing, tailored to their specific individual needs.

The rising number of extreme weather events increases the risk of flooding, also on company premises and in buildings. Rising costs and fees place an additional burden on companies. It is therefore worth investing in intelligent water management: How can stormwater be collected and used as process water? How can water be infiltrated instead of being discharged into the sewer system? A variety of often easy-to-implement measures prevent damage and save costs. These and other questions were discussed at an online cooperation event organized by Business Metropole Ruhr GmbH and the Emscher Association for Water Management/Lipper Association (Emschergenossenschaft/Lippeverband). Business Metropole Ruhr markets the Ruhr region as a business location and, among other things, supports companies with future-oriented, environmentally-friendly technologies. Professor Dr. Peter Höppe, former head of GEO Risks Research/Corporate Climate Centre Munich, opened the discussion round with his lecture "Too much and too little water - climate change aggravates the extremes", which was accompanied by representatives of the business community and local authorities and during which more than 100 live participants were able to ask questions to the speakers. Holger Ackermann, the responsible person  for water management from DAHLEM, was a participant in the four-person panel. In his view, climate adaptation measures are not an expression of ideology, but of foresight and common sense.

Link to the event (start of discussion from minute 30')

On January 1, 2021, DAHLEM received the ÖKOPROFIT® Company 2021 award. Environment Minister Ursula Heinen-Esser, Mayor Kufen of Essen and around 50 participants met in Zoom as the ÖKOPROFIT® awards were presented virtually for the first time in all of Germany. As a participant in the project, DAHLEM has been implementing numerous in-house measures since 2018 to protect the environment while cutting costs: Reducing electricity and water consumption, introducing e-mobility with cars and bicycles, and much more. The ÖKOPROFIT® Essen-Ruhrgebiet project (Ecological Project for Integrated Environmental Technology) was launched in 2002 by the City of Essen to help companies and institutions establish a feasible environmental management system. "For us, the measures implemented achieved a great record of success. It's good to realize that you can implement many measures for the environment with little effort and at the same time increase the acceptance of environmental protection," says Dipl.-Ing. Markus Küppers enthusiastically.

Our ÖKOPROFIT team, from left to fight: Dr.-Ing. Jan-Gregor Dahlem, Sarah Lukai, M.Sc. and Dipl.-Ing. Markus Küppers