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The German Federal Institute of Hydrology (BfG)

Within the federal system of Germany, responsibilities for waters are divided between national authorities and those of the federal states, the Länder. As a scientific institution ranking as a supreme federal agency, the BfG is responsible for the German waterways in federal ownership. In this position it has a central mediating and integrating function.

Photo: A bridge of steel connects the two wings of the BfG-buildingIts independence and its scientific approach enable the BfG to build bridges between conflicting interests.

The Federal Institute of Hydrology (BfG) advises the federal ministries (e.g. the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, BMVI) and the Waterways and Shipping Administration (WSV) in matters of utilisation and management of the German federal waterways.

Figure: Position and function of the BfG in Germany and in the international contextThe BfG provides scientific and expert information for the work of the ministries and the Waterways and Shipping Administration

Mission
Being part of the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), it is the BfG's mission to contribute to the implementation and operation of an efficient and environment-friendly transport system. By improving the national infrastructure the BfG wants to boost Germany's economic power, strengthen Germany as an investment and industrial location and secure its position in a European context.

Organisational structure
The BfG realises its range of themes and services with the support of the scientific departments and internationally orientated organisational structures. The IT department, the administration, and the controlling unit are the mainstays of its efficient performance.

Rationale
The BfG pools and processes scientific findings to formulate scenarios and is thus able to make reliable forecasts. As a modern supreme federal agency it has set itself the goal of making a responsible and active contribution to the future utilisation of watercourses and coastal waters in Germany and Europe.

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