On 15 March 2021, the project partners TUD, itwh, NU and Astana Innovations met online for the official kick-off workshop of the project. The meeting was attended by staff members from participating institutions as well as external guest researchers and representatives of industry interested in the project such as colleagues from the Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity of Kazakhstan (ACBK), the Institute of Management of the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, former DAAD lecturers at German – Kazakh University in Almaty, Kazakhstan and UIT Dresden – a manufacturer of environmental monitoring sensors.
Dr. Catalin Stefan and Dr. Lothar Fuchs (itwh) introduced the motivation, objectives and methodology of TERESA project, with details about the two sub-projects on modelling the sustainable urban drainage systems and managed aquifer recharge schemes. Prof. Janay Sagin from NU presented the test-site at the Nazarbayev University campus that can serve as study area for the project. The follow-up discussion concentrated on the historical development of the site, its potential for research activities, and general difficulties related to data availability. Mr Ruslan Urazaliyev (ACBK) provided very useful background information about the selected area, emphasizing the biodiversity aspects that can be addressed by the project. The discussions included also technical and scientific challenges such as availability of software used for simulations, suitability of monitoring sensors to local climate conditions (especially during cold season), presence of snow etc.