Project overview: 

What is the FDRI? The FDRI is a scoping project funded by NERC that will establish the requirements for a potential new national Floods & Droughts Research Infrastructure, and provide NERC with the information needed to submit a business case in Spring 2021. 

The primary objective of the 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 is led by the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and comprises researchers from the University of Bristol, Imperial College London, and the British Geological Survey.

Building on the NERC-funded community workshops in 2019, which identified strong stakeholder interest in engaging with a dedicated scoping project, the FDRI team will be seeking 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 will also undertake a thorough review of past and ongoing flood and drought monitoring programmes, both in the UK and internationally.

Project Partners

The Project Management Team

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

Gareth OldUKCEH, Principal Investigator & WP Lead
Nichola BadcockNERC, Quality Assurance
Victoria BarlowUKCEH, Project Manager
John BloomfieldBGS, WP Lead
Wouter BuytaertImperial College London, WP Lead
Matt FryUKCEH, WP Lead
Gwyn ReesUKCEH, Project Co-Lead
Nick ReynardUKCEH, Project Co-Lead
Marcia SpencerUKCEH, Outreach, Communication & Project Support
Thorsten WagenerUniversity of Bristol, WP Lead

Project Steering Committee

The project is overseen by a Project Steering Committee. Members include:

David Hannah (Chair)University of Birmingham
Nichola BadcockNERC, Head of Capital
Lindsay BeeversHerriot-Watt University
Alex ChahianNERC, Programme Sponsor, Major Projects
Nick ChappellLancaster University
Stewart ClarkeNational Trust
Hannah ClokeUniversity of Reading
Isabelle DuranceCardiff University
Steve HallettCranfield University
Joseph HoldenUniversity of Leeds
Steve KayeUKWIR
Ruth KelmanNERC, Head of Resilient Environments
Oliver KnevittNERC, Programme Manager, Capital and Resilient Environments
Michelle ManningNERC, Senior Programme Manager, Resilient Environments
Thomas RobinsonNERC, Senior Programme Manager, Capital
John RemediosNCEO / University of Leicester
Rebecca SmithNERC, Programme Manager, Capital
Doug WhitfieldEnvironment Agency

FDRI  Questionnaire

The FDRI consultative questionnaire continues to remain open and is reviewed frequently - if you would like to complete it or would like to get in touch with us, please email

FDRI Webinars

Introduction to the Flood Drought Research Infrastructure (FDRI) Scoping Study - The full recording of our first webinar that took place on Wednesday 14th October 2020 can be viewed here >>.  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 here >>.

FDRI Webinar: Requirements and Rationale -  Our second pre-recorded webinar provides 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 are presented and next steps are described that include a second workshop that will consider and agree on priority infrastructure options.  This potential infrastructure investment represents a major opportunity for the whole community so we encourage your continued engagement to ensure we maximise the benefits.​

Flood and Drought Research Infrastructure Scoping Study - View our third webinar for the background to the Flood and Drought Research Infrastructure (FDRI) Scoping Study. It covers how the research from the study will provide NERC with the evidence and rationale for the submission of a business case for a future large-scale research infrastructure investment.  The presentation also describes the processes currently being undertaken by the scoping study team to create and collate the evidence required, from past NERC consultations with the UK hydrology community, through stakeholder engagement and reviewing past and ongoing monitoring programmes Internationally as well as in the UK.

Why get involved?

Your contribution to the project is vital and this is your opportunity to become part of a collaborative, influential network. Your involvement will enable us to gain a clear understanding of the range and diversity of opinions and priorities across the community and will guide the project outcomes.   

Please note: due to GDPR guidelines it is critical that you ‘opt in’ to ensure your participation. It’s simple to do this, just click below: 

Opt in to the FDRI

Make sure your voice can be heard.

For general enquiries, to find out more about the project or to change your involvement level, please contact  Marcia Spencer and Victoria Barlow