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Already 100 years ago, the subject water supply and drainage of cities was read by F. W. Büsing at the then still young "Technische Hochschule Charlottenburg". A decisive milestone was surely the appointment of Prof. Joseph Brix to the first chair of urban development and civil and underground engineering in Germany in 1904. After 1954 the chair of the department of urban water management is consecutively held by Prof. W. Schwenke, Prof. E. Gerlach, Prof. K. Roske, Prof. H. Gutsche and Prof. W. Hegemann. In January of 2006 Prof. Dr.-Ing. Matthias Barjenbruch was appointed to the chair and is leading it since.
Urban water management covers the whole water cycle in populated areas. It is a classical field for building engineers and is therefore generally assigned to the department of civil engineering. At times, the urban water management department was allocated to the faculty of environmental engineering of the Technische Universität Berlin but since 2006 it once again belongs to the faculty of civil engineering.


Urban water management explores the water cycle and the relevant material flow in populated areas. The basic aims are safekeeping of hygiene, water and recourse protection as well as prevention of flooding which ensures the comfort and security of urban dwellers.
Basic studies in water engineering and management in which fundamental knowledge of installations for water catchment, drinking water treatment and distribution, waste water and sludge treatment and urban drainage are obligatory. This knowledge is completed with e.g. laboratory work and excursions in the following in-depth studies, so that a solid foundation for planning, building and running the installations mentioned above is provided. Thereby, the interdisciplinarity with the natural sciences, with the bordering engineering fields and with economic sciences is emphasized. Especially the handling of processes, installations and systems requires a constant demand of civil engineers with their major in urban water management. Other than for oncoming civil engineers, lectures for students of environmental engineering and business engineering are offered as well, lectures that display a broad range of knowledge in the field of urban water management.


Considering that around 1.2 billion people worldwide have no secure access to drinking water and more than double as many people have no access to controlled wastewater treatment (soiled water causes the death of ca. 2.2 million humans per year), it is a main mission of urban water management nowadays to ensure a proper supply of potable water as well as the secure disposal of waste water in Developing Countries (which can mean small installations for few dwellers up to managing mega cities) by adapted new concepts and low cost technologies. Furthermore, the development of installations in Industrial (e.g. maintenance) and Emerging Nations (e.g. incomplete sewer systems, insufficient quality of drinking water) has to be enhanced. Research is based on analytical and experimental methods (in situ and in laboratory) on the one hand and on the other hand on computer-aided modelling with which processes and systems are developed, analyzed and evaluated. Momentarily, subjects of research are reduction of odour and corrosion in sewer systems, advanced storm water treatment, integrated operation of sewer networks and wastewater treatment plants, Sanierung of sewer systems, modern sanitary systems, operation and energy optimization of WTTPs, advanced wastewater-treatment, measures for optimisation of wastewater lagoons and development of small wastewater treatment technologies.

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Chair of Urban Water Management
Institute Civil Engineering
Faculty VI Planning Building Environment
sec. TIB1 - B16 (Mon - Thur)
Gustav-Meyer-Allee 25
13355 Berlin