Water Resources science area - embracing ecology and hydrology

CEH research activity in Water Resources includes long-term observation of surface waters.

CEH's new Science Strategy identifies three interdependent, major societal and environmental challenges: Securing the Value of Nature, Building Resilience to Environmental Hazards, and Managing Environmental Change. We're delivering our strategy by Science Areas and underpinning activities, and over recent weeks we have profiled these on our blog.

In this post, we take a closer look at our Water Resources science area. In this area our research embraces ecology and hydrology, water quality and water quantity.

Our work aims to give insight into relationships between the natural water resource and its dependent ecosystems.

Research activity includes the development and deployment of novel monitoring techniques to quantify extremes, dynamics and fluxes of water, associated chemicals, biota and sediment, as well as assessing threats of pollution to the aquatic environment and human health. 

We maintain nationally important datasets and make these available for further research.

Water resources serve the competing and often conflicting requirements of agriculture, industry, households, power generation, navigation, flood protection and recreation. They must be allocated and used in a sustainable and equitable way whilst maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Future research objectives for CEH include understanding and representing in models the pressures, processes and fluxes that control the availability, distribution and quality of water resources nationally and globally.  We also provide the evidence required to facilitate the management of water resources and provide the evidence base for policy development.

Current work includes establishing delivery of the first operational Hydrological Outlook service for the UK; integrating web-based delivery of UK flood data into the National River Flow Archive; launching a real-time service describing soil moisture across the UK, and establishing a national inventory of lake assets and a global lake observatory based on Earth observation.

For more details of these and other research objectives in our Water Resources science area, please see our Science Area Summary [PDF].

Additional information

CEH Science Strategy 2014-2019

Science areas: 

Issues: