BMBF-Project Sustainable Strategies and Technologies for Flood Risk Management in Arid and Semi-Arid Areas (HOWAMAN): Influence of the transport of bed load, rubble and debris on the flood discharge

The joint project HOWAMAN, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), aims at developing sustainable strategies and technologies for flood risk management (FRM) in arid and semi-arid areas. This requires techniques and modeling tools that are being developed in cooperation with project partners to develop an early warning system for flash floods. The project results are intended to reduce the risk of flash floods in affected areas.

The study area of the project is the Kan River catchment in Tehran Province, Iran. Several flood events with major damage have already occurred there in the past.

According to the Federal Water Act in Germany, the influence of bed load and debris is not taken into account when considering flood events. In arid and semi-arid areas with a steep gradient, bed load, rubble and debris are mobilized to a much greater extent, which is deposited again in flatter regions. The soil is not held there by vegetation and can therefore quickly erode in the event of a flood. Large amounts of bed load material can lead to unpredictable damage. The influence of these factors on the flow paths, the water levels and the damage to be expected is being investigated by DMT in the research project in order to infer the expected additional damage to the existing infrastructure. Measures to minimize the damage will be developed from the findings.

The project is one of four ongoing research projects of the German support measure IKARIM (International Disaster and Risk Management) and is financially supported by the BMBF through the "Research for Civil Security" program.

The project is managed by the Institute for Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management (IWW) at RWTH Aachen.

Project partners include research institutes and private companies:

  • Institute for Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management (IWW), RWTH Aachen
  • Institute of Sociology, Technology & Organization (STO), RWTH Aachen
  • Research Institute for Water and Waste Management at RWTH Aachen (FiW) e.V.
  • Workgroup Flood Risk Management, Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences
  • Kisters AG, Business Unit Water
  • Flood Competence Center (HKC)

Further links on the topic of "Research for Civil Security" can be found at:

Dr. Oliver Stoschek