Accelerated Filling of the Inden Mine’s Residual Lake from the Rur River

General information

Client: RWE Power AG, State Authority North-Rhine Westphalia
Location: Rur River Basin; Germany
Project duration: 2004 - 2005 and 2008 - 2009
Key characteristics: Lignite mining, Lake filling, Rur, 800 mio m³, modeling

Project description

The Inden opencast lignite mine is located some 20 km to the north-east of Aachen in Germany's Rhineland. After the end of lignite mining around the year 2030, a lake measuring some 11.8 km2 is planned to be created. It will mainly be filled with water from the river Rur flowing past in the immediate vicinity of the opencast mine. Filling the lake volume of approximately 800 million m3 will take 20 to 25 years according to results of hydrologic modelling. During the past ten years, the basic water management questions arising in relation to the creation of the Inden mine's residual lake were settled within the scope of the state-planning approval procedure. It could be demonstrated by means of a numeric river basin model that the envisaged withdrawal of water from the Rur is feasible and in line with the water body's ecological and hydromorphological targets as well as its industrial use.


  • Set up of a river basin modelling including all water abstraction points and water losses along the River Rur up to the confluence with River Meuse
  • Hybrid hydrological/hydraulic river basin modelling
  • Evaluation of operating schemes for filling the lake from the Eifel-Rur reservoir system in line with ecological needs
  • Balancing diametrically opposed purposes, conflict solution
  • Assessment of affected/unaffected hydrological regimes
  • Cumulative impact assessment of water abstraction by users and filling the residual lake on nature reservation areas


  • Hybrid hydrological/hydraulic modelling
  • Considering ecological requirements
  • Balanced solutions in conflict situations
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