Working Group Water Research

Working Group on Geographical Water Research and Education for Sustainable Land Use

Our Water research is based on river basins or watersheds. River basins or watersheds are natural units that allow us to analyze water cycle and water use in a quantitative way. It is an ideal scope to determine mass-balances inside the water cycle and monitor changes over time and to study changes from the headwaters all the way downstream. Based on a Watershed and people living inside the watershed, human activity can be linked with natural responses and enables the analysis of the interactions between human activities and the natural environment.
The watershed as an integration tool allows us to determine the cumulative effect from all activities and natural processes. Moreover the watershed based analysis facilitates the assessment of a variety of ecosystem functions.
In general our work group follows the idea of integrated watershed resources management (IWRM) in education and research which addresses ecological factors, societal needs and environmental topics in a more holistic manner. As scientists we take part in a dialogue with multiple stakeholders and integrate them into our modeling, assessment and decision-making processes (e.g. integrating local stakeholders and their knowledge inside our regional projects in Vietnam, Iran or Mongolia). Although the multi-stakeholder involvement and process is a major critique of IWRM because of its time consuming part we try to follow this approach in our work as far as possible (knowing that including all actors in managing water resources is unrealistic). We try to train the students to use the best current knowledge and initiate management strategies that we think are most suitable (within the meaning of "adaptive management"). Therefore we integrate our students into running research projects and teach them in watershed modelling using a variety of models, GIS systems and integration of Remote Sensing data.
Knowledge about models help us to understand processes and the amount of change. Further they help to determine which of the processes are most important to change. Using a variety of models and GIS-based data we try to link our modelling more and more to ecosystem modelling and sustainable land use.
Finally we try to solve a little bit the problem of the disconnect between land use, water and the complex human-environmental interface.

Basis Literature for Education:

Water Resilience for Human Prosperity Cover Johan Rockström, Malin Falkenmark, Carl Folke, Mats Lannerstad, Jennie Barron Cambridge University Press, 27.03.2014

Publications of the Working Group:

Negussie, K. G., Wyss, D., Knox, N., Vallejo Orti, M., Corral-Pazos-de-Provens, E., & Kappas, M. (2022). Evaluating SWAT model for streamflow estimation in the semi-arid Okavango-Omatako catchment, Namibia. African Journal of Environmental Science and Technology , 16(11), 385-403.

Gunsmaa Batbayar, Martin Pfeiffer, Martin Kappas, Daniel Karthe (2018). Development and application of GIS-based assessment of land-use impacts on water quality: A case study of the Kharaa River Basin. Ambio.

Fassnacht, S.R., K.S. Brown, E.J. Blumberg, J.I. López Moreno, T.P. Covino, M. Kappas, Y. Huang, V. Leone, and A.H. Kashipazha (2018). Distribution of Snow Depths Variability. Frontiers of Earth Science, 12(4), 683-692, [doi: 10.1007/s11707-018-0714-z].

Rafiei Emam A., Kappas M., Fassnacht S., LINH N.H.K. (2018) Uncertainty analysis of hydrological modeling in a tropical area using different algorithms, Front. Earth Sci. (2018).

Kumar P., Masago Y., Mishra B., Jalilov Sh., Rafiei Emam A. Kefi M. and Fukushi, K. (2017) Current Assessment and Future Outlook for Water Resources Considering Climate Change and a Population Burst: A Case Study of Ciliwung River, Jakarta City, Indonesia. Water 9, no. 6: 410.

Mishra B.K., Rafiei Emam A., Masago Y., Kumar P., Regmi R.K., and Fukushi K. (2017) Assessment of Future Flood Inundations under Climate and Land Use Change Scenarios in the Ciliwung River Basin, Jakarta. Flood Risk Management DOI: 10.1111/jfr3.12311 (2017).

Rafiei Emam, A.; Kappas, M.; Linh, N.H.K.; Renchin, T. (2017) Hydrological Modeling and Runoff Mitigation in an Ungauged Basin of Central Vietnam Using SWAT Model. Hydrology 2017, 4, 16.

Rafiei Emam A, Mishra BK, Kumar P, Massago Y, Fukushi K (2016) Impact Assessment of Climate and Land-Use Changes on Flooding Behavior in the Upper Ciliwung River, Jakarta, Indonesia, Water 2016, 8(12), 559; doi: 10.3390/w8120559

Nguyen HQ, Hang L, Anh ND, Kappas M (2016) Modelling Surface Runoff and Soil Erosion for Yen Bai Province, Vietnam using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), Journal of Vietnamese Environment, Vol 8(1):71-79

Rafiei Emam A, Kappas M, Akhavan S, Hosseini SZ, Abbaspour KC (2015) Estimation of groundwater recharge and its relation with land degradation: Case study of a semi-arid river basin in Iran. Environmental Earth Sciences 74(9):6791?6803, DOI 10.1007/s12665-015-4674-2

Rafiei Emam A, Kappas M, Hosseini SZ (2015) Assessing impact of climate change on water resources, crop productions and land degradation in a semi-arid river basin. Hydrology research 47(6):854-870, DOI: 10.2166/nh.2015.143

Rafiei Emam A, Kappas M , Abbaspour KC (2015) Simulation of water balance components in a watershed located in central drainage basin of Iran. In: Remote Sensing of the Terrestrial Water Cycle,Geophysical Monograph 206 (V. Lakshmi, ed.). American Geophysical Union. Wiley & Sons pres. ISBN: 9781118872031

Nguyen H, Degener J, Kappas M (2015) Flash Flood Prediction by Coupling KINEROS2 and HEC-RAS Models for Tropical Regions of Northern Vietnam. Hydrology 2015, 2(4):242-265

Nguyen HQ, Kappas M (2015) Modeling Surface Runoff and Evapotranspiration using SWAT and BEACH for a Tropical Watershed in North Vietnam, Compared to MODIS Products, International Journal of Advanced Remote Sensing and GIS 2015, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp. 1367-1384

Nguyen H, Degener J, Kappas M (2015), Flash flooding prediction in regions of northern Vietnam using the KINEROS2 model, Hydrology Research 47(5)