Module C: Water conflicts in the mining sector

Research questions:

Which (future) measures and strategies of stakeholder groups in the opencast mining region of Lusatia can have a significant influence on (future) water conflicts in the region? How do these measures of different stakeholder groups and context developments interact?

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Case study:

As a mining academy, the TU Freiberg dedicates its case study to the challenges of the Lusatia open-cast mining region. Lignite mining, which has been ongoing for over 100 years, has considerable consequences for the water balance in the region, which is also one of the driest areas in Germany. This fact will be exacerbated by climate change and, with the coal phase-out scheduled for 2038 at the latest, the lack of large quantities of drainage water (water that is pumped out to keep the coal mines dry and largely channelled into the receiving waters), which is currently still used for drinking water supplies, industry, ecosystems and much more. In addition, a large amount of water is required for the flooding and renaturalisation of the opencast mine pits. This means that there is a high potential for competition for water resources in Lusatia. Furthermore, Lusatia is amid structural change, and a functioning water balance is a key precondition for its success.

In Module C, we analyse water conflicts that may arise in Lusatia in the future in connection with coal mining, structural change, and climate change, among other things. In addition, we examine the ways in which agents and their measures and strategies can influence them. To this end, we are working together with local stakeholders and other scientific projects.

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