2021 Water Resource Prize goes to GRoW researcher Harald Kunstmann

12/07/2021

The Rüdiger Kurt Bode-Stiftung has awarded the 2021 Water Resource Prize to GRoW researcher Prof Dr. Harald Kunstmann as a “bridge builder between research and practice”. With this award, the foundation honors Harald Kunstmann’s contribution to regional water resource management in sub-Saharan Africa.

With the Water Resource Prize, Bode Stiftung honors researchers from the scientific community who are committed to sustainable global water resource use by developing outstanding strategies and concepts. The prize is endowed with 100,000 euros and is one of the largest German foundation prizes. Prof Dr. Harald Kunstmann received this year’s Water Resource Prize because of his achievements in sustainable water resource management in regions with water scarcity. Harald Kunstmann is Chair of Regional Climate and Hydrology at University of Augsburg and Deputy Director of the Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research – Atmospheric Environmental Research at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. He also coordinates the GRoW joint project SaWaM.

Harald Kunstmann’s regional research focus is particularly on sub-Saharan Africa. Here, climate change will most likely have drastic consequences for regional water availability. A particular challenge is the management of multi-purpose reservoirs that provide water for both electricity generation and agriculture. In this respect, it is of central importance to be able to better predict water availability. Harald Kunstmann has developed high-performance, regionally adapted sub-seasonal to seasonal (S2S) forecasting systems for more accurate and reliable forecasting of drought and flood events. To do this, he was the first in Germany to use the signal attenuation of microwave links from commercial cellular networks. Ultimately, his models enable a more detailed description of the full regional water cycles from groundwater to the atmosphere.

The foundation honors Harald Kunstmann as a “bridge builder between research and practice who consistently pursues an interdisciplinary, international and solution-oriented approach” and whose work is “of high societal relevance and great benefit to decision makers, farmers and other water users.” The award ceremony took place online at the 11th Water Research Horizon Conference on 16 June 2021.

More information is available here.