Floods and Droughts Research Infrastructure (FDRI): A new capital investment by the UK Government enabling essential science and innovation to improve the UK’s resilience to hydrological extremes.
In June 2022, UKRI announced their intention to contribute £38M towards the establishment of a UK-wide, digitally enabled Floods and Droughts Research Infrastructure (FDRI).
The investment will facilitate the hydrological science and innovation needed to make the UK more adaptable and resilient to floods and droughts. It will include urgently needed UK-wide deployments of instruments for observing our water environment, novel digital solutions to support data use, and testbeds for technological innovations. FDRI will advance our understanding of how, when and where floods and droughts occur, enabling improved predictions, robust assessment of impacts and implementation of appropriate mitigation measures. It will ensure that the UK continues to provide global leadership for hydrological research and innovation, driving solutions worldwide.
Why is UKRI investing in FDRI?
Floods and droughts cause significant economic, social and environmental impacts and they are predicted to increase in intensity, frequency, and duration in response to changes in climate and human activity. The need for new science to underpin the UK’s preparedness and resilience to these extreme events has never been more pressing.
Without a significant investment in whole-system, hydrological infrastructure, evidence to underpin the UK's resilience to increasingly intense and frequent flood and drought events will be limited, and the costs and damages to society and the environment will spiral upwards.
This significant infrastructure investment was made possible by a 21-month-long NERC- and UKRI-funded scoping study that determined research community requirements for an FDRI that identified and prioritised research community requirements for and FDRI.