DFG Annual Report 2022: Flood Disaster 2021

  Two men in front of a river with a bridge Copyright: © DFG-Jahresbericht 2022

The DFG's Annual Report offers a comprehensive overview of its activities and funding priorities in 2022 on approximately 340 pages. Journalistically prepared articles present projects from research and infrastructure funding that stand pars pro toto for the approximately 31,750 projects that were funded by the DFG with a total of more than 3.9 billion euros in the year under review.

In the meantime, one focus of the DFG's funding in the engineering sciences is on natural disasters and their consequences. Water, for example, is a very special element in this context: It provides energy and life, but it can also be destructive and life-threatening. The people in the Ahr Valley had to experience the latter in a particularly dramatic way on July 14 and 15, 2021.

For geographer and geomorphologist Frank Lehmkuhl and hydraulic engineering and water management expert Holger Schüttrumpf from RWTH Aachen University, the flood of the century held a great opportunity despite its terrible consequences - namely in terms of preventing such disasters in the future. After all, it happened virtually on their doorstep.

In a 2021/2022 DFG-funded "Feasibility Study to Assess the Pollutant Load of Sediments as a Result of the July Flood of 2021 in the Transition from the Central Uplands to the Lowlands," Lehmkuhl and Schüttrumpf specifically investigated the toxic substances released from the soil by the flood and redeposited elsewhere in the region around the towns of Stolberg and Eschweiler: A topic often neglected by flood research, but of central importance for the former mining region in the valleys of the Inde and Vichtbach rivers.

Further information:

  • DFG Annual Report 2022 (from page 66): DFG Annual Report
  • Feasibility study to assess the pollutant load of sediments as a result of the July flood 2021 in the transition from low mountain range to lowland: Feasibility study
  Landscape before and after the flood Copyright: © DFG-Jahresbericht 2022