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Fields of activity

Waterways are complex systems. To understand them in all their diversity, it is necessary to consider them from different perspectives. The BfG meets this requirement with an expertise that is unique in Germany – anchored in its three scientific divisions quantitative hydrology, qualitative hydrology and ecology.

Waterways from quantitative, qualitative, and ecological perspectivesWaterways from quantitative, qualitative, and ecological perspectives

To meet its tasks, the BfG's approach is interdisciplinary and project-oriented. This allows it to pool the findings of the different disciplines that co-operate in its institution to provide demand-targeted services.

Networking of expertise: quantitative, qualitative and ecological perspectivesNetworking its expertise gives the BfG a holistic understanding of waterways

Quantitative hydrology
The BfG measures water levels and streamflows, examines the geometry and the morphological conditions of waterways, and studies the interactions between waterways and groundwater.

Qualitative hydrology
The BfG investigates the release of substances and chemicals into waters and their impacts. It focuses especially on the consequences resulting from maintenance works and development projects on federal waterways.

The BfG studies the ecosystems in and along the federal waterways. It explores their composition and develops concepts and measures for ecologically compatible waterway management practices.

Interdisciplinary co-operation
In order to cope with the complexity of its tasks, the BfG's divisions and departments co-operate – also with external partners – on many topics.

International co-operation
Waterways do not stop at national frontiers. Hence, the BfG attaches great importance to participate in international projects and activities.

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