The BMBF funding measures "Water technologies: Reuse" and "WavE"


Water is becoming scarce in many regions of the world – not only just in typical arid regions. It is becoming more challenging to supply households, agriculture and industry with water according to their needs. Further, the demand for water will increase drastically worldwide in the coming years, while the already limited water resources are declining at the regional level. Climate change, the pollution and overexploitation of water resources and the unequal distribution of water resources are among the main factors contributing to this decline.


In this context, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has launched the following funding measures:

  • Funding measures Water Technologies: Reuse (since 02/2021)
  • Funding measures WavE - Future-oriented Technologies and Concepts to Increase Water Availability by Water Reuse and Desalination (2016 - 2021)


Objectives and thematic areas

The aim of both funding measures is to develop innovative technologies, operational concepts and management strategies for water reuse and desalination in order to sustainably increase water availability. The funding measure Water Technologies: Reuse also has a strong focus on living labs, standardisation and the potential of digitalisation.

Collaborative projects with partners from science, industry and practice, as well as a networking and transfer project, will each conduct research and development to help improve the efficient use of water and to develop alternative water resources for various sectors.

The research of these projects will focus on the following topics:

The studies and developments will be carried out under real-life conditions and will also include pilot scale demonstration plants. Particular importance is placed on the transferability of the technological and conceptual approaches to other locations with similar boundary conditions. Additionally, these approaches should further strengthen the competitiveness of German companies in the international technology market and contribute to the successful implementation of solutions "made in Germany".

The research and development work will be supported by a steering committee as an accompanying body, which will include, in addition to the coordinators of the collaborative projects, external experts from the water management industry. The steering committee will serve as an interface between research and practice, fostering the direct exchange of knowledge and information.

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