Professor Thomas Wintgens to Coordinate International Project for the Protection of Inland Waters




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The EU is set to provide 3.7 million euros in funding for the project.


Professor Thomas Wintgens, head of the Institute of Environmental Engineering at RWTH Aachen University, will coordinate the international project "StopUP – Protecting the Aquatic Environment From Urban Runoff Pollution" over the next three years. The European Union is funding the research activities as part of HORIZON Europe with eleven partners from eight countries, including Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The project has a focus on monitoring and improving water quality in inland waters.

Pollutants enter the aquatic environment via urban surface runoff and stormwater and sewer overflows. As a result of climate change, which brings pronounced periods of drought and intense precipitation, environmental pollution is increasing, for example due to the intermittent input of deposited substances. Specific measures are now needed to contain such pollution.

The project partners will first identify pollution pathways in urban catchments using monitoring strategies, online sensors, and data processing and analysis. They will also test technologies such as retention soil filters, which can be more easily integrated into urban areas. Geographical, climatic, hydrological as well as socio-economic environments and influencing factors of cities will be considered as well. The overarching goal is to provide environmental agencies, water associations, and utilities with tools to implement pollution mitigation measures.