DNRD Students

Funded by the CNRD exceed project (DAAD), the CNRD network was given the opportunity to support doctoral students from partner institutes with a scholarship of up to three and a half years, to integrate them directly into the network. Being part of an international network of scientists offers the young scientists, in addition to financial support, the best possible career opportunities. Furthermore, the support of doctoral students through scholarships contributes to the objective of the CNRD, to provide young professionals and researchers with the necessary competencies to become responsible decision-makers and change agents in natural resources management. Since 2009 around 25 PhD students have received a CNRD scholarship and finished their studies.


Amrita Gautam

Water Supply and Quality Monitoring using emerging technologies

This project aims to assess the water quality and its supply system in two water supply schemes in PMC; analyze temporal and spatial variation in quality of drinking water; appraise and compare the efficiency of three different method (analogue conventional, digital mobile based and remote sensing) of data collection procedure and recommend the most efficient one in the sense of cost effective and eco-friendly nature.

Duration: 2016 – 2019
Supervisors: Karl Schneider (University of Cologne), Lars Ribbe (TH Köln)
– M. Neupane, J.K.Thakur, A.Gautam, A. Dhakal, M.Pahari, 2014. Arsenic aquifer sealing technology in wells: A sustainable mitigation option. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution. Springer. Published Online on 15th October 2014. Available at: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11270-014-2087-6
– A. Gautam, 2015. Design of a Community Based Water Quality Monitoring (CBWQM) Strategy in the micro-basins Barracão dos Mendes, Santa Cruz and São Lourenço, RJ, Brazil. M.sc Thesis, ITT, Cologne. Available at: http://intecral-project.web.th-koeln.de/results-data

Elmoiz Yousif Elnayer Taha

Agricultural Drought Monitoring in Sudan using GIS and remote Sensing, Case of El Gedarif State.

We studying the agricultural drought on the basis of remote sensing products dedicated to the soil moisture, the area of interest is predominantly agricultural land, and vulnerable to climate change and climate variability, Yet, most research in this part of the world; agricultural drought focuses on meteorological aspects with less attention paid on soil moisture drought impacts which in term of droughts describes the agricultural drought.

Duration: 2016 – 2019
Supervisors: Elmar Csaplovics (Technical University of Dresden), Lars Ribbe (TH Köln)
– Elmoiz, Y. E. Taha and Khair. M. A. (2013) Effect of Irrigation Regimes on Land and Water Productivities of some Autumn Sown Forages in the Gezira, Sudan). Proceedings: The 53rd Meeting of National Crop Husbandry Committee pp 5-19, Wad Medani, June 2013.Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, Agricultural Research Corporation.
– Elmoiz Y. E. Taha and Mohammed A. M. Khair (2014) Effect of Irrigation Regimes on Water Productivities of some Rainy Season Sown Forages in the Gezira, Sudan U. of K. J. Agric. Sci. 22(1), 166-178, 2014.
– Agricultural Drought Monitoring Using SWDI Derived from New SMAP Soil Moisture; a Case Study of El Gedarif State, Sudan (prepared to be submitted to the journal)

MD Asraful Latif

Application of Remote Sensing for monitoring Agricultural Productivity to Climate Change Impacts: A study on North-Western Part of Bangladesh

The Ganges-Brahmaputra Basin area in Bangladesh (the North-Western Part of Bangladesh) is one of the agriculturally productive areas in the world because of the alluvial land in nature. Despite the high productivity, the area is also subjected to severe climate change impacts in form of flooding, drought and changes in precipitation. Agricultural system in Bangladesh, in general, is still primitive and very much dependent on rainfall and availability of groundwater. Anticipatory adaptation and resilience measures in agricultural production are thus imperative to sustain and improve food and human security for burgeoning number of population in this region. One of the major emerging climatic challenges in crop production is interrupted rainfall leading to soil water stress during the crop-growing season. Consequently, the result is crop production failure associated with food and livelihood insecurity in the whole region. Hence, this research intends to develop a methodological framework for crop yield prediction based on soil-water balance component. The current study is focused on the Boro rice cultivation, the major dry season crop in Bangladesh. The framework is based on the Remote Sensing and GIS datasets and Technology using Landsat 16 day’s composite images with 30-meter spatial resolution during the winter crop-growing season (January to mid-April). It will monitor water stress at multiple scales (from local to regional) and inform farmers, decision makers and other stakeholders to undertake appropriate adaptation measures for ensuring food security. The framework is expected to be replicated to the similar socio-ecological systems of the world for improving agricultural productivity to meet the increasing need of crop production.

Duration: 2016 – 2020
 Nguyen Xuan Thinh (Technical University of Dortmund), Lars Ribbe (TH Köln)

Muhammad Khalifa

Integrated analysis of nexus synergies and trade-offs between water, food and climate in the Nile basin region

With enormous interactions between water, food and climate, the nexus thinking is crucial to enhance the water and food securities, to ensure the sustainability of natural resources, and to mitigate climate change. This research aims at analyzing and quantifying potential synergies and tradeoffs of water-food-climate nexus in the Nile Basin region. To this end, the current study integrates diverse datasets including remote sensing, ancillary and primary data and applies advanced methodologies across multiple spatial and temporal domains.

Duration: 2015 – 2019
Supervisors: Karl Schneider (University of Cologne), Lars Ribbe and Nadir Ahmed Elagib (TH Köln)
Publications: Khalifa, M., Elagib, N.A., Ribbe, L., Schneider, K., 2018. Spatio-temporal variations in climate, primary productivity and efficiency of water and carbon use of the land cover types in Sudan and Ethiopia. Science of the Total Environment, 624, 790-806
Link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969717335167?via%3Dihub

Nazmul Huq

Exploring the roles of ecosystem services in livelihood sustainability. An assessment of southern wetland region of Bangladesh   

The research is aiming to explore the interactions, and interdependence of human system and natural system of southern wetland region of Bangladesh. The concept of ecosystem services is employed as the birding element between the two systems. The research theorizes that the application of the concept of ecosystem services could describe the complex relationship between human-nature systems against the backdrop of climate change

Duration: 2015 – 2019
Supervisors: Antje Bruns (University of Trier), Lars Ribbe (TH Köln) 

– N. Huq, J. Hugé, E. Boon, and A. Gain, “Climate Change Impacts in Agricultural Communities in Rural Areas of Coastal Bangladesh: A Tale of Many Stories,” Sustainability, vol. 7, no. 7, pp. 8437–8460, 2015.
– N. Huq, “Small scale fresh water ponds in rural Bangladesh : navigating roles and services,” Int. J. Water, vol. 10, no. 1, 2016.
– N. Huq, A. Bruns, L. Ribbe, and S. Huq, “Mainstreaming Ecosystem Services Based Climate Change Adaptation (EbA) in Bangladesh: Status, Challenges and Opportunities,” Sustainability, vol. 9, no. 6, p. 926, 2017.
– N. Huq, A. Bruns, and L. Ribbe, “Interactions between freshwater ecosystem services and land cover changes in southern Bangladesh: A perspective from short term (seasonal) and long-term (1973–2014) scale,” Sci. Total Environ., Aug. 2018. N. Huq, R. Pedroso, A. Bruns, L. Ribbe, and S. Huq, “How is the livelihood dependency on ecosystem services changed in temporal and spatial scales? An assessment in the southern wetland areas of Bangladesh,” Ecol. Indic., vol. Submitted, 2019.


Nguyen Thi Ngoc Uyen

Harmonizing multi-sectorial water management with minimum inflow requirements in an anthropogenic impacted Central Vietnamese river basin
The case of Vu Gia – Thu Bon    

Global supplies of freshwater are strongly under pressure with one third of the world’s population lives in area with water shortages, and 1.1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water (Hess et al., 2014). Increasing human populations will result in an increasing demand for freshwater, which will affect freshwater inflow into estuaries and have consequences on the functioning of estuarine ecosystems (Montagna et al., 2002). The overexploitation of this resource put the negative impacts on water availability. Water scarcity is being further compounded by low flows which affect both surface water and ground water resources (Belal et al., 2012). Climate change induced hydro-climatic extremes and sea level rise are also expected to aggravate low flow phenomenon in many coastal regions worldwide, like the Vietnamese coastal regions (IMHEN, 2012; IPCC, 2013). Due to the variety of direct or indirect anthropogenic impacts on stream-flow in river catchments, the low-flow regimes of many rivers have been significantly modified and the origin of water in a stream during low-flow conditions has been changed (Smakhtin, 2001). Low flow periods severely impact on socio economic activities as diminished freshwater resources of rivers are unable to provide adequate water for crop production, hydropower generation and urban water supply as well as to maintain water quality of freshwater bodies due to saltwater intrusion. In addition, water quality has also been declining rapidly because of increasing in the discharge of untreated domestic and industrial wastewater, irrigation return flow, and non-point-source pollution (Pringle and Scatena, 1999; Scatena, 2004). This is more apparent in low-flow periods when the assimilative capacity of the river decreases (Liu et al., 2005). Minimum flow in rivers and streams aims to provide a certain level of protection for the valued features of the ecosystem (Liu et al., 2005). It refers to the water considered sufficient for protecting the structure and function of an ecosystem and its dependent species (Elhatip et al., 2014). Releasing minimum inflow can reduce the impact of saltwater intrusion and maintaining the sustainable water supply for irrigation and domestic demand in the downstream.

Duration: 2015 – 2019
Supervisors: Karl Schneider (University of Cologne), Lars Ribbe and Nadir Ahmed Elagib (TH Köln) 

Teresa de Jesus Arce Mojica

Methodological approach for assessing forest ecosystems vulnerability in the context of Disaster Risk Reduction.

Ecosystems play an important role in disaster risk reduction (DRR). Healthy ecosystems are able to reduce vulnerability providing well-being, livelihood and basic needs to communities and on the other hand; they reduce physical exposure to natural hazards acting as natural buffers or protective barriers. However, in many countries near-natural ecosystems have been lost or degraded due to resources exploitation, agriculture, and urbanization. This is particularly true for forest ecosystems which have suffered the conversion to another land use; leading to a reduction of their protective functions and services, increasing the risk of disasters and accelerating climate change.

Despite the acceptance that ecosystems, disasters and development are interrelated, the multi-dimensional role of ecosystems in the context of disasters is insufficiently addressed. There are knowledge gaps in measuring ecosystems capacity to absorb hazard impacts; moreover the existing risk methodologies do not identify properly the ecosystem status and their influence on reducing/increasing vulnerability and risk. In this sense it is fundamental to develop conceptual models and indicators which put stronger emphasis on the role of ecosystem to reduce the exposure and vulnerability that population is facing.

Duration: 2016 – 2019

Supervisors: Dieter Anhuf (University of Passau), Udo Nehren (TH Köln)

Tran Thi Ha Van

Long-term assessment of irrigation efficiency in major agricultural production areas of Vietnam

The future challenges raised for irrigated agriculture in most developing countries are to contribute to the global food production and to achieve water security through improving irrigation efficiency and promoting a sustainable water use. Furthermore, the future food security of 94 million people in Vietnam continues to rely on the country’s ability to expand agricultural production through increased efficiency of irrigation systems. The proper evaluating of irrigation efficiency can provide a valuable overview of irrigation performance and inform decision makers about measures to gain optimal effectiveness in irrigated agriculture.

Accordingly, the main objective of the research is to appraise long-term irrigation efficiency of the selected agricultural production areas in Vietnam based on the application of remote sensing, GIS, modeling and field measurement. Based on the concept of irrigation efficiency defined by this study, proposed indicators for irrigation efficiency assessment include: crop consumptive use fraction, agronomic water use fraction, water management fraction, distribution efficiency, scheduling efficiency and productivity of applied water fraction. A combination of in-situ measurements and remote sensing is considered as the key to a more standardized approach to estimate irrigation efficiency especially for large scale irrigation schemes.

Duration: 2016 – 2019
Supervisors: Nguyen Xuan Thinh (Technical University of Dortmund), Lars Ribbe (TH Köln)
– Tran Thi Ha, Van (2016) LUCCI: Land use and climate change interactions in central Vietnam. In: Liniger, Hanspeter / Mekdaschi Studer, Rima / Moll, Peter / Zander, Ute: Making sense of research for sustainable land management. Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern, Switzerland and Helmholtz-Center of Enviromental Research GmbH. S. 271–274. http://www.ufz.de/export/data/2/126685_full_version_WOCAT_Glues.pdf
– Van Tran Thi Ha, Viet Trinh Quoc, Lars Ribbe (2017) Reuse potential of return flow for irrigating paddy farms in the Vu Gia Thu Bon Delta, Central Vietnam. Journal of International Scientific Publications: Agriculture & Food, 1, 346–360.
– Poster presentation: “Remote sensing based actual evapotranspiration estimation for efficient agricultural water use in the Vu Gia Thu Bon Delta, Central Vietnam”. International Conference On Water Security And Climate Change (WSCC), Cologne, Germany