What was the FDRI scoping project? 

The FDRI scoping project funded by NERC aimed to establish the requirements for a potential new national Floods and Droughts Research Infrastructure (FDRI), and provide NERC with the information needed to submit a business case. The FDRI scoping project ran for 21-months from May 2020 to January 2022.

The primary objective of an FDRI is to increase the UK’s resilience to floods and droughts through a transformational research capability, which will dramatically improve in UK’s flood and drought forecasting,  planning, incident response & management.

The Scoping Study team was led by the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and comprised researchers from the University of Bristol, Imperial College London, and the British Geological Survey.

Building on NERC-funded community workshops in 2019, which identified strong stakeholder interest in engaging with a dedicated scoping project, the FDRI team sought views, ideas and inputs from a broad range of stakeholders across business, landowners, government and regulatory agencies via a series of surveys, webinars and virtual workshops. The team also carried out a thorough review of past and ongoing flood and drought monitoring programmes, both in the UK and internationally.

Project Partners

Project partners logos

The Project Management Team

The project was delivered through several complementary work packages, one of which was responsible for overall project management. Members of the Project Management team were as follows:

Gareth Old UKCEH, Principal Investigator & WP Lead
Nichola Badcock NERC, Quality Assurance
Victoria Barlow UKCEH, Project Manager
John Bloomfield BGS, WP Lead
Wouter Buytaert Imperial College London, WP Lead
Matt Fry UKCEH, WP Lead
Gwyn Rees UKCEH, Project Co-Lead
Nick Reynard UKCEH, Project Co-Lead
Marcia Spencer UKCEH, Outreach, Communication & Project Support
Thorsten Wagener University of Bristol, WP Lead
Gemma Coxon University of Bristol, WP Lead

Project Steering Committee

The project was overseen by a Project Steering Committee. Members included:

David Hannah (Chair) University of Birmingham
Nichola Badcock NERC, Head of Capital
Lindsay Beevers Herriot-Watt University
Alex Chahian NERC, Programme Sponsor, Major Projects
Nick Chappell Lancaster University
Stewart Clarke National Trust
Hannah Cloke University of Reading
Isabelle Durance Cardiff University
Steve Hallett Cranfield University
Joseph Holden University of Leeds
Steve Kaye UKWIR
Ruth Kelman NERC, Head of Resilient Environments
Oliver Knevitt NERC, Programme Manager, Capital and Resilient Environments
Michelle Manning NERC, Senior Programme Manager, Resilient Environments
Thomas Robinson NERC, Senior Programme Manager, Capital
John Remedios NCEO / University of Leicester
Rebecca Smith NERC, Programme Manager, Capital
Doug Whitfield Environment Agency


FDRI scoping project: Webinars

FDRI Webinar: Requirements and Rationale  Our second webinar was recorded in March 2021. This provided a 10-minute overview of the first workshop of the FDRI Scoping Project. It focused on identifying the community’s infrastructure requirements and their rationale. The interests of both academic and non-academic stakeholder organisations were represented by the large number of attendees (>50).  Key findings were presented and next steps described,  including a second workshop to consider and agree on priority infrastructure options. 

Introduction to the Flood Drought Research Infrastructure (FDRI) Scoping Study - Our first webinar took place in October 2020. We were asked many questions during the Q&A section of the webinar about the scope and detailed considerations of the FDRI scoping study.  A record of the themes raised and the responses made by the project team to specific questions can be viewed in the Webinar Questions and Responses document.

Principal Investigator