The Emscher system, with its open wastewater drains, has been undergoing reconstruction since 1990. The watercourses, now relieved of the burden of wastewater, are being reconstituted as close to nature as possible. An important precondition, for which naturally orientated rainwater management concepts must be implemented in this densely populated region, is a homogenized run-off. Emschergenossenschaft has in recent years provided financial and conceptual support for the implementation of such changes. Present-day experience demonstrates that disconnection of 10% of impervious areas within the next fifteen years is a realistic target and consequently the aim for next year’s work. As detailed studies using precipitation run-off models document, this will decisively improve the flood and minimum water situations of the small tributary watercourses in particular, which is important regarding the aims of the EU WFD.

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