The River Ruhr is the lifeblood of the region and namesake to one of the largest urban agglomerations in Europe, the Ruhr Region (Ruhrgebiet). About five million people rely on the Ruhr for drinking and industrial water. As a result of the high population density and the large number of commercial and industrial enterprises, the region’s water use per surface area is about seven times higher than average in the Federal Republic.
At the same time, the Ruhr is a comparatively small river - with a length of approx. 219 kilometres, its average discharge at its mouth into the River Rhine amounts to about 80 cubic metres per second. As a comparison, the Rhine is about 1,324 kilometres long, and its discharge near Duisburg amounts to more than 2,500 cubic metres per second!
The Ruhrverband's task is to ensure that the water supply from the "small" Ruhr is sufficient for the entire region. For almost 100 years, the Ruhrverband has guaranteed the existence of a future-oriented water management infrastructure along the Ruhr. For this purpose, it operates more than 800 water management installations across the Ruhr river basin, including eight dams and reservoirs and five impounded lakes.