A German summer of the century develops into a summer of the millennium. A blanket of smothering heat has descended over the country. Tempers are flaring, the health system is close to a breakdown and the agricultural, water and energy industries are near a total collapse.
Although the situation throughout the entire country is dramatic, it is the Ruhr district that is suffering the most. This region, which has the highest population density in the whole of Europe, receives more than half of its water supply from the river Ruhr.
But the water reservoirs are nearly empty. Even the emergency system that pumps water from the Rhine into the Ruhr is useless because the Rhine as well has been reduced to little more than a trickle. A worst-case scenario looms: a complete breakdown of the water supply system.
The hydrologist Dr. Martina Fechner had issued warnings about exactly this scenario, but until the first incident occurred, those warnings fell on deaf ears. Now that her dire predictions have become hard reality, her expertise suddenly warrants her promotion to the position of Crisis Manager. She and her team immediately begin implementing emergency measures to reduce the area’s water usage and pollution.
The subsequent restrictions affect not only the population, but every area of the economy as well. Everybody is forced to suffer under the extreme but critical limitations imposed on them…
Being a woman in a male dominated field makes life very difficult. She’s forced to contend with political interference and the various interest groups who attempt to manipulate and sabotage her work.
She must tread with extreme care to avoid their traps. Even her integrity is coming under fire.
But knowing that the water supply for 5 million people will soon disappear without her immediate intervention, Dr. Martina Fechner stubbornly keeps fighting against the mounting odds.
The weather is merciless, with the temperature remaining over a staggering 40° Celsius. The critical point of the water supply system has been reached. The only thing that can now prevent a massive loss of life is the building of a drinking water reservoir that Martina has miraculously managed to set into motion.
But then comes what appears to be the tragic and fatal blow… because of someone’s irresponsible mistake, the water meant to save them all has been contaminated with the Legionella bacteria…