Jochen Wenninger

Associate Professor of Hydrology & Water Resources


Dr. Jochen Wenninger graduated in hydrology at the University of Freiburg, Germany in 2002. Before joining the Core of Hydrology and Water Resources at IHE Delft in 2008, he worked as a scientific staff member at the Institute of Hydrology in Freiburg engaged in research and lecturing. There he was mainly involved in experimental field research and laboratory work and managed the isotope laboratory of the institute. In June 2007, he obtained his PhD degree from the same University with the dissertation entitled “Studies of hydrological processes in the soil-vegetation-atmosphere system”.

The main qualifications of Dr. Wenninger are in the area of catchment hydrology and hydrological processes research as well as large scale water resources assessment, planning and evaluation. His research is focused on the process knowledge and modelling of water fluxes at varying spatial and temporal scales. He has extensive experience in using tracer methods, especially natural water isotopes.

Dr. Wenninger is teaching parts of the MSc Programme in Hydrology and Water Resources, is involved in supervising MSc students, and is guiding PhD fellows during their research. He is experienced as researcher, expert and project leader in many projects in several European countries as well as in the eastern and southern parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Research Summary

Project involvements (selection):

2021-                     “Water, Peace and Security partnership”, WPS East Africa Engagement, Kenya.

2020-2021            “Development of a Data Requirement Analysis for the Shabelle Basin, Somalia”, Good Governance, Resource Management and Resource Sharing, Somalia.

2019-2021            “Strengthening the Data and Information Management Capacity of the Water Resources Management Authority, Zambia to Support Sustainable Development and Adaptation to Climate Change”, Zambia.

2019-2020            “Support to Assess Groundwater Aquifers by Using Existing Isotope Data in India”, Development and implementation support to the India-EU Water Partnership (IEWP) and Support to Ganga Rejuvenation (SGR), India

2019-2020            “Integrated coastal zone Management”, NICHE-IDN-265 ICZM, Integrated Coastal Zone Management for sustainable development in Central Java, Indonesia.

2018-2021           “Mara-Wide WAP-SWP”, Mara-Wide Sustainable Water Partnership-Water Allocation Planning, Kenya and Tanzania

2014-2017           "MaMaSe", Mau Mara Serengeti Sustainable Water Initiative, Mara River Basin, Kenya

2014-2016           "FCST Niger", Satellite based water monitoring and flow forecasting system in the Niger River Basin, Niger

2011-2015           "Capacity Development of Higher Education on Integrated Water Resources Management at CUET", Bangladesh

2011-2015           "Capacity Building for Integrated Water Resources Management in South Africa", South Africa

2011-2013           "Rwanda Integrated Water Security Program (RIWSP)", Rwanda

2010-2015           "Impact of untreated wastewater on natural water bodies: Integrated risk assessment (UWIRA)", Palestine

2010-2011           "Asia Facility for China, Partnership for education and research in water and ecosystem interactions (AF China Erdos)", China

2009-2012           "The ecology of livelihoods in east african papyrus wetlands: Wetland conservation and utilization in the context of local and global change (ECOLIVE)", Kenya

2008-2012           "In Search of Sustainable Catchments and Basin-wide Solidarities; Transboundary Water Management of the Blue Nile River Basin", Ethiopia and Sudan

2008-2011           "Experimental investigations of water fluxes within the soil-vegetation system using isotopes to improve water use efficiency (IsoWUE)"

2008-2012           "Capacity Building in Water Resources and Environmental Management in Rwanda", Rwanda


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Journal papers (selection):


Minaya, V., Camacho Suarez, V., Wenninger, J., Mynett, A. (2021), Runoff generation from a combined glacier and paramo catchment within the Antisana Reserve in Ecuador, Journal of Ecohydraulics, DOI: 10.1080/24705357.2021.2005472


Rodriguez, C.D.J., Coenders-Gerrits, M., Wenninger, J., Gonzalez-Angarita, A., H. Savenije (2020). Contribution of understory evaporation in a tropical wet forest during the dry season, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 2179-226,


Rodriguez, C.D.J., Coenders, M., Uhlenbrook, S., J. Wenninger (2019), What Do Plants Leave after Summer on the Ground?—The Effect of Afforested Plants in Arid Environments, Water 2019, 11, 2559; doi:10.3390/w11122559.


Mersha, A.,N., Masih, I., De Fraiture, C., Wenninger, J., T. Alamirew (2018), Evaluating the impacts of IWRM policy actions on demand satisfaction and downstream water availability in the Upper Awash Basin, Ethiopia, Water, 2018, 10, 892.

Giuditta, E., A. M. J. Coenders-Gerrits, T. A. Bogaard, J. Wenninger, R. Greco, F. A. Rutigliano (2018), Measuring changes in forest floor evaporation after prescribed burning in Southern Italy pine plantations, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 256-257, 516-525.


Abimbola, O. P., J. Wenninger, R. Venneker, and A. R. Mittelstet (2017), The assessment of water resources in ungauged catchments in Rwanda, J. Hydrol. Reg. Stud., 13, 274-289.

Hou, L., Y. Zhou, H. Bao, and J. Wenninger (2017), Simulation of maize (Zea mays L.) water use with the HYDRUS-1D model in the semi-arid Hailiutu River catchment, Northwest China, Hydrological Sciences Journal, 62(1), 93-103.

Yang, Z., Y. Zhou, J. Wenninger, S. Uhlenbrook, X. Wang, and L. Wan (2017), Groundwater and surface-water interactions and impacts of human activities in the Hailiutu catchment, northwest China, Hydrogeology Journal, 25(5), 1341-1355.


Huang, J., Y. Zhou, J. Wenninger, H. Ma, J. Zhang, and D. Zhang (2016), How water use of Salix psammophila bush depends on groundwater depth in a semi-desert area, Environ Earth Sci, 75(7).


Camacho Suarez, V. V., A. M. L. Saraiva Okello, J. W. Wenninger, and S. Uhlenbrook (2015), Understanding runoff processes in a semi-arid environment through isotope and hydrochemical hydrograph separations, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 19(10), 4183-4199.

Huang, J., Y. Zhou, R. Hou, and J. Wenninger (2015), Simulation of water use dynamics by Salix bush in a semiarid shallow groundwater area of the Chinese Erdos Plateau, Water, 7(12), 6999-7021.

Tekleab, S., S. Uhlenbrook, H. H. G. Savenije, Y. Mohamed, and J. Wenninger (2015), Modelling rainfall–runoff processes of the Chemoga and Jedeb meso-scale catchments in the Abay/Upper Blue Nile basin, Ethiopia, Hydrological Sciences Journal, 60(11), 2029-2046.

Yang, Z., Y. Zhou, J. Wenninger, S. Uhlenbrook, and L. Wan (2015), Simulation of groundwater-surface water interactions under different land use scenarios in the Bulang catchment, Northwest China, Water, 7(11), 5959-5985.

Yin, L., Y. Zhou, J. Huang, J. Wenninger, E. Zhang, G. Hou, and J. Dong (2015), Interaction between groundwater and trees in an arid site: Potential impacts of climate variation and groundwater abstraction on trees, Journal of Hydrology, 528, 435-448.


Hou, L., J. Wenninger, J. Shen, Y. Zhou, H. Bao, and H. Liu (2014), Assessing crop coefficients for Zea mays in the semi-arid Hailiutu River catchment, northwest China, Agricultural Water Management, 140, 37-47.

Hou, L. Z., J. Wenninger, and X. J. Li (2014), Influence of soil texture on soil-water characteristic curves of different sandy loam layers, in Advanced Materials Research, edited, pp. 3607-3610.

Huang, J., Y. Zhou, L. Yin, J. Wenninger, J. Zhang, G. Hou, E. Zhang, and S. Uhlenbrook (2014), Climatic controls on sap flow dynamics and used water sources of Salix psammophila in a semi-arid environment in northwest China, Environ Earth Sci, 73(1), 289-301.

Munyaneza, O., A. Mukubwa, S. Maskey, S. Uhlenbrook, and J. Wenninger (2014), Assessment of surface water resources availability using catchment modelling and the results of tracer studies in the mesoscale Migina Catchment, Rwanda, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 18(12), 5289-5301.

Sutanto, S. J., B. Van Den Hurk, P. A. Dirmeyer, S. I. Seneviratne, T. Rockmann, K. E. Trenberth, E. M. Blyth, J. Wenninger, and G. Hoffmann (2014), HESS Opinions "a perspective on isotope versus non-isotope approaches to determine the contribution of transpiration to total evaporation", Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 18(8), 2815-2827.

Tekleab, S., J. Wenninger, and S. Uhlenbrook (2014a), Characterisation of stable isotopes to identify residence times and runoff components in two meso-scale catchments in the Abay/Upper Blue Nile basin, Ethiopia, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 18(6), 2415-2431.

Tekleab, S., Y. Mohamed, S. Uhlenbrook, and J. Wenninger (2014b), Hydrologic responses to land cover change: The case of Jedeb mesoscale catchment, Abay/Upper Blue Nile Basin, Ethiopia, Hydrological Processes, 28(20), 5149-5161.

Yang, Z., Y. Zhou, J. Wenninger, and S. Uhlenbrook (2014), A multi-method approach to quantify groundwater/surface water-interactions in the semi-arid Hailiutu River basin, northwest China, Hydrogeology Journal, 22(3), 527-541.

Yin, L., Y. Zhou, J. Huang, J. Wenninger, G. Hou, E. Zhang, X. Wang, J. Dong, J. Zhang, and S. Uhlenbrook (2014), Dynamics of willow tree (Salix matsudana) water use and its response to environmental factors in the semi-arid Hailiutu River catchment, Northwest China, Environ Earth Sci, 71(12), 4997-5006.


Teferi, E., W. Bewket, S. Uhlenbrook, and J. Wenninger (2013), Understanding recent land use and land cover dynamics in the source region of the Upper Blue Nile, Ethiopia: Spatially explicit statistical modeling of systematic transitions, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 165, 98-117.

Yin, L., E. Zhang, X. Wang, J. Wenninger, J. Dong, L. Guo, and J. Huang (2013), A GIS-based DRASTIC model for assessing groundwater vulnerability in the Ordos Plateau, China, Environ Earth Sci, 69(1), 171-185.

Zhou, Y., J. Wenninger, Z. Yang, L. Yin, J. Huang, L. Hou, X. Wang, D. Zhang, and S. Uhlenbrook (2013), Groundwater-surface water interactions, vegetation dependencies and implications for water resources management in the semi-arid Hailiutu River catchment, China - A synthesis, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 17(7), 2435-2447.


Munyaneza, O., J. Wenninger, and S. Uhlenbrook (2012), Identification of runoff generation processes using hydrometric and tracer methods in a meso-scale catchment in Rwanda, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 16(7), 1991-2004.

Sutanto, S. J., J. Wenninger, A. M. J. Coenders-Gerrits, and S. Uhlenbrook (2012b), Partitioning of evaporation into transpiration, soil evaporation and interception: A comparison between isotope measurements and a HYDRUS-1D model, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 16(8), 2605-2616.

Temesgen, M., S. Uhlenbrook, B. Simane, P. Van Der Zaag, Y. Mohamed, J. Wenninger, and H. H. G. Savenije (2012), Impacts of conservation tillage on the hydrological and agronomic performance offanya juusin the upper Blue Nile (Abbay) river basin, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 16(12), 4725-4735.

Yang, Z., Y. Zhou, J. Wenninger, and S. Uhlenbrook (2012), The causes of flow regime shifts in the semi-arid Hailiutu River, Northwest China, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 16(1), 87-103.


Tekleab, S., S. Uhlenbrook, Y. Mohamed, H. H. G. Savenije, M. Temesgen, and J. Wenninger (2011), Water balance modeling of Upper Blue Nile catchments using a top-down approach, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 15(7), 2179-2193.

Wenninger, J., P. Koeniger, and P. Schneider (2011), Isotopic characterization of snow variability in two mountainous catchments, black forest mountains, Germany, paper presented at ISWREP 2011 - Proceedings of 2011 International Symposium on Water Resource and Environmental Protection.

Yang, Z., Y. Zhou, J. Wenninger, and S. Uhlenbrook (2011), Analysis of stream flow characteristics of the Hailiutu River in the central Yellow River, China, paper presented at ISWREP 2011 - Proceedings of 2011 International Symposium on Water Resource and Environmental Protection.


Teferi, E., S. Uhlenbrook, W. Bewket, J. Wenninger, and B. Simane (2010), The use of remote sensing to quantify wetland loss in the Choke Mountain range, Upper Blue Nile basin, Ethiopia, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 14(12), 2415-2428.

Wenninger, J., D. T. Beza, and S. Uhlenbrook (2010), Experimental investigations of water fluxes within the soil-vegetation-atmosphere system: Stable isotope mass-balance approach to partition evaporation and transpiration, Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, 35(13-14), 565-570.


Koch, K., J. Wenninger, S. Uhlenbrook, and M. Bonell (2009), Joint interpretation of hydrological and geophysical data: Electrical resistivity tomography results from a process hydrological research site in the Black Forest Mountains, Germany, Hydrological Processes, 23(10), 1501-1513.


Uhlenbrook, S., J. Didszun, and J. Wenninger (2008), Source areas and mixing of runoff components at the hillslope scale - A multi-technical approach, Hydrological Sciences Journal, 53(4), 741-753.

Wenninger, J., S. Uhlenbrook, S. Lorentz, and C. Leibundgut (2008a), Idenfication of runoff generation processes using combined hydrometric, tracer and geophysical methods in a headwater catchment in South Africa, Hydrological Sciences Journal, 53(1), 65-80.


Brandes, E., J. Wenninger, P. Koeniger, D. Schindler, H. Rennenberg, C. Leibundgut, H. Mayer, and A. Gessler (2007), Assessing environmental and physiological controls over water relations in a Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stand through analyses of stable isotope composition of water and organic matter, Plant, Cell and Environment, 30(1), 113-127.


Tilch, N., S. Uhlenbrook, J. Didszun, J. Wenninger, R. Kirnbauer, B. Zillgens, and C. Leibundgut (2006), Hydrological process studies on flood genesis in the Lohnersbach catchment (Kitzbuheler Alps, Austria), Hydrologie und Wasserbewirtschaftung, 50(2), 67-78.

Uhlenbrook, S., and J. Wenninger (2006), Identification of flow pathways along hillslopes using electrical resistivity tomography (ERT), paper presented at IAHS-AISH Publication.


Uhlenbrook, S., J. Wenninger, and S. Lorentz (2005), What happens after the catchment caught the storm? Hydrological processes at the small, semi-arid Weatherley catchment, South-Africa, Advances in Geosciences, 2, 237-241.


Wenninger, J., S. Uhlenbrook, N. Tilch, and C. Leibundgut (2004), Experimental evidence of fast groundwater responses in a hillslope/floodplain area in the Black Forest Mountains, Germany, Hydrological Processes, 18(17), 3305-3322.



Wenninger, J. (2007), Prozesshydrologische Untersuchung im System Boden-Vegetation-Atmosphare, I. f. Hydrologie, Freiburger Schriften zur Hydrologie, 25, Dissertation, 150 pp., Albert-Ludwigs-Universitat Freiburg, Freiburg.


Diploma thesis:

Wenninger, J. (2002), Experimentelle Untersuchung zur Dynamik von Hanggrundwasser und dessen Ubertritt in die Talaue und den Vorfluter im Brugga-Einzugsgebiet, I. f. Hydrologie, Diplomarbeit, Albert-Ludwigs-Universitat, Freiburg.


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