TRUST: Sustainable, fair and environmentally sound drinking water supply for prosperous regions with water shortage: Developing solutions and planning tools for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals using the river catchments of the region Lima/Peru as an example


The TRUST research project aims to develop innovative solution and planning tools for drinking water supply. In terms of methodology, it will link approaches from satellite-based remote sensing and water balance modelling with strategic decision-making tools and concepts for integrated water supply and wastewater disposal. On the one hand, this will pave the way for drawing conclusions about the status of surface waters. On the other, it will create scope for developing concepts for access to safe drinking water that are tailored to local conditions and socially accepted, and for developing a sustainable method of wastewater disposal. The methodological framework that Trust will develop will combine expertise from researchers and practitioners active in the natural sciences, engineering, and social sciences. It will be tested in the Lima/Peru region. Specifically, the focus will be on Rio Lurín, one of three rivers that supply the Peruvian capital. Before this, a number of preliminary tests will be carried out in Germany with the involvement of the Saxony state dam authority (Landestalsperrenverwaltung Sachsen). Among other things, the tests will regionally verify the correlation between remote-sensing data and water quality issues, and ensure that the method can be transferred.

  • Develop improved methods for determining the status of, and predicting changes in the qualitative and quantitative condition of surface waters, and for putting management tools into practice
  • Develop and test inclusive processes for negotiating interests and positions for future-focused strategy planning and conflict avoidance that also take account of environmental concerns
  • Plan integrated concepts for grid-connected and modular systems for water supply and wastewater disposal
  • Build human and institutional skills in the project region by developing appropriate further education and training schemes


Achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a major challenge for planning, governance and water management – especially in prosperous water-scarce regions. Climate change is primarily exacerbating water shortages in regions that are already struggling with water scarcity. This is particularly the case in places – such as fast-growing urban centres in water-scarce regions – where rising water demand already far outweighs the renewal rate of surface water and groundwater. In addition, the demand for clean drinking water, irrigation water for agriculture and process water for industry is growing. Achieving the SDGs in the water sector in these types of regions requires stronger interdisciplinary approaches for solving specific challenges. These challenges include, in particular, incomplete monitoring of polluted and overused water resources, competitive pressure over limited water resources and the resulting social conflicts, and the rigidity of existing infrastructures and planning tools in the face of changing frameworks for water supply and disposal systems.

More information about the joint research project is available here.


In spring 2019, the GRoW-project TRUST signed an agreement on future cooperation with the newly elected municipality of San Andrés de Tupicocha.
Christian D. León, Koordinator des GRoW-Projekts TRUST, tritt in Lima, Peru, als Podiumsgast auf und spricht zum Nexus zwischen Wasser, Gesundheit und Klimawandel.
Drinking water scarcity in prosperous urban areas is an increasing challenge for cities around the world. This situation, exacerbated by growing climatic extremes, is prevalent in the Rio Lurin catchment area in Lima (Peru), which is the world’s second largest desert city. The TRUST research project is exploiting the possibilities for developing an innovative solution to secure the drinking water supply and expedient disposal of water in the catchment area of the Rio Lurin, one of Lima’s three major drinking water sources. Using remote sensing and hydrological modelling in combination with strategic decision-making tools, the team of researchers and practitioners of natural sciences, engineering and social sciences has made significant progress in the project’s first year.

!Hyperlinked pages in this Newsletter only available in german or spanish!
TRUST project meeting
July 3rd, 2018
TRUST will  give a presentation on modular concepts for sustainable water  supply and water reuse at the sideevent "Water scarcity in semi-arid environments of our Earth: main challenges and recent developments for risk mitigation" at the World Water Forum 2018 in Brazil. Further information can be found in the preliminary programme
TRUST 1st Meeting of committee of users 
February 19, 2018 in Bad Homburg, Germany
November 7, 2017 in Peru