Research to protect our natural environment
Researchers at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) are investigating the causes and effects of the far-reaching changes to our environment. In this way, they are developing concepts and processes to help conserve our natural environment for future generations. In the area of environmental technologies, the UFZ specializes on decentralized water treatment systems and uses new processes and monitoring technologies to conduct research on the ground and on groundwater. A further focus is groundwater decontamination and the development of decontamination technologies using microorganisms.
Tapping water resources and knowledge about water
In many countries, access to clean water is not a matter of course. Plants can clean wastewater with their rhizospheres, but more knowledge is still needed about these processes. The researchers at the UFZ are investigating how rhizospheres work, with their complex interactions between plants, microorganisms and contaminants. Since decentralized wastewater treatment using constructed wetlands is cost-effective and simple to implement, this method has great potential for developing and emerging economies.
Integrated water resource management for the Jordan river
In the catchment area of the Jordan river in the Middle East, drinking water is in short supply. In the SMART project (Sustainable Management of Available Water Resources with Innovative Technologies), which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, UFZ researchers are working together with partners from Jordan, Palestine and Israel. They are trying to find ways of using the region's limited water resources in a sustainable way.