Water Makes Life Possible: Our Contribution to Earth Day

The theme of this year's German Earth Day is "Water makes life possible". Humans, flora, and fauna are dependent on the quality and availability of water. Water protection is, therefore, essential for everyone. It also fulfills other functions such as flood protection, groundwater recharge, and microclimate regulation. Water protection is a high priority for K+S. We, therefore, support various projects in this area.

By implementing a wide range of measures, such as the constant reduction in the discharge of saline wastewater, riverbank renaturation, and the removal of weirs, K+S acts in accordance with overarching action plans and achieves measurable regional effects.

On the deforested island in the Hautsee, species that were once native to the area can develop again

Species conservation on the floating island in Lake Hautsee, Thuringia

In a cooperation project with the Thuringian Association for Fishing and Nature Conservation and the Thuringian Species Conservation Working Group and Thuringia Forestry, the development of biodiversity on the floating island in Lake Hautsee was promoted.

The island had become overgrown and immobile due to pine trees. Once the heavy trees have been removed, plant species typical of the habitat can grow again and the island - a registered natural monument - can move freely again when the water level is high.

The Schwarzellerbach has been restored to its natural streambed

Riverbank renaturation of the Schwarzellerbach, Hesse 

In this project, the straightened bank of the Schwarzellerbach stream was restored to its natural state, allowing a natural stream bed to develop.

Water and riverbanks provide a habitat for many creatures and any flooding can be held back in the floodplain for longer.

Precipitation runs off more slowly and seeps more into the ground, which benefits groundwater recharge.

Mahlwinkel Zielitz
A water body was created in the middle of the forest and afforestation as a food source for the adjacent habitats

Development of small bodies of water as feeding habitats for native wildlife in Mahlwinkel, Saxony-Anhalt 

In cooperation with the Landesgesellschaft Sachsen-Anhalt mbH, a measure was created that combines open land, forest, and water structures. At its heart is a small body of water, which is a popular water source and feeding habitat for bats, among others.

Renaturation and restructuring of the Suhlbach, Hesse & Thuringia 

The aim of the current project is to restore a near-natural floodplain by renaturalizing and restructuring the Suhlbach stream. Different vegetation and terrain modeling create a variety of habitats for small creatures, birds, fish, and amphibians. The floodplain can now store precipitation and flooding of the adjacent fields is prevented.

Fish ladder in the Ulster River near Räsa, Thuringia 

The weir at Räsa in the lower course of the Ulster River was replaced by a fish ladder consisting of nine successive stone bars. This measure enables fish to migrate upstream and reach new habitats. In contrast to weirs and barrages, the flow is good and improves the water quality in terms of oxygen content and temperature.

Several natural stone bars for the fish to overcome
Kerzell Frosch
Water frogs are settling here again

Stream extension with flood troughs, bypass and initial planting of floodplain forest in Kerzell near Eichenzell, Hesse

A wide variety of measures were implemented on an area of around two hectares.

An existing stream was extended and a side channel with steep banks and water banks was created. Riparian plantings line these morphological structures. An open water area is located in an adjacent meadow and is habitat to numerous insects, dragonflies, and frogs.

Kerzell Bieber
Beavers also find good living conditions here

The structural diversity attracts various animal and plant species. Today, for example, the beaver finds ideal conditions there. The steep walls offer the kingfisher ideal opportunities to create a breeding den and a gravel bank on the bank serves as a breeding ground for the little ringed plover.