Water Resources Management

, Volume 28, Issue 6, pp 1767–1780 | Cite as

Security of Water Supply and Electricity Production: Aspects of Integrated Management

  • H. KochEmail author
  • S. Vögele
  • M. Kaltofen
  • M. Grossmann
  • U. Grünewald


The share of renewable resources in electricity generation, e.g. in Germany, is increasing. The power sector is thus becoming more dependent on climate/weather parameters. During the summer months of the last decade, numerous thermal power plants in Europe had to be throttled due to water shortages and high water temperatures. At the same time, Europe was confronted with a reduction in hydropower production. One method of securing a future electricity supply is to increase the reliability of the water supply for power plants. In this paper, scenarios are presented for future electricity production by hydropower and thermal power plants in the Elbe river basin. Electricity production in hydropower plants will decline by approximately 13 % by 2050. This decline is due to climate change and it could be compensated for by optimizing and modernizing existing hydropower plants. Due to higher efficiencies and the conversion of plant cooling systems, no water shortages are expected in most thermal power plants. However, water shortages are expected to affect the plants in the city of Berlin. Inter- and intra-basin water transfers constitute a possible adaptation option. While the transfer of water from the river Oder would be the most cost-efficient solution from Berlin’s perspective, the transfer of water from the river Elbe would have additional positive effects in the upstream Spree river sub-basin.


Water supply Electricity production Integrated management Elbe basin 



This work was carried out as part of the German Research Programme on Global Change in the Hydrological Cycle (GLOWA), namely GLOWA-Elbe, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Koch
    • 1
    Email author
  • S. Vögele
    • 2
  • M. Kaltofen
    • 3
  • M. Grossmann
    • 4
  • U. Grünewald
    • 5
  1. 1.Climate Impacts & Vulnerabilities DepartmentPotsdam Institute for Climate Impact ResearchPotsdamGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Energy and Climate Research - Systems Analysis and Technology Evaluation (IEK-STE)Forschungszentrum JülichJülichGermany
  3. 3.Branch office DresdenDHI-WASY GmbHDresdenGermany
  4. 4.Institut für Landschaftsarchitektur und Umweltplanung, EB 4-2Technische Universität BerlinBerlinGermany
  5. 5.Chair of Hydrology and Water Resources ManagementBrandenburg University of Technology CottbusCottbusGermany

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