Our research

We provide insight into the relationships between the natural water resource and its dependent ecosystems, so that the impacts of pressures from exploitation of the resource can be understood.

This knowledge is key to maximising the benefits provided by our water resources, while minimising adverse consequences to the environment or to human development. Additionally this understanding will inform integrated water resource management and the restoration of over-exploited freshwater and wetland ecosystems.

Our research embraces ecology and hydrology, water quality and water quantity, pristine and polluted environments, short-term variability and long-term change. It aims to deliver locally and globally.

World-class science and innovation

  • Long-term observation of surface waters, including the physical habitat, chemistry and biology of rivers, lakes and wetlands
  • Development and deployment of novel monitoring techniques to quantify extremes, dynamics and fluxes of water, associated chemicals, biota and sediment
  • Understanding the nature and change of variability in water resources, water quality and ecosystem function, and identifying trends and step-changes by comparison with observed historical variability
  • Using Earth observation data, monitoring and models to assess the status of regional and global water resources, now and in the future
  • Informing strategic planning and development of water policy by applying models that deliver forecasts of the likely impacts of change on water resources availability

Sampling at Loch Flemington

Science Groups

CEH Aquatic Mesocosm facility overflows

Our facilities

FEH web service
Industry standard methods for assessing flood risk in the UK
Detail from Land Cover plus Crops Map 2015 showing crop types
Digital mapping of arable cropping on an annual basis
Flood Estimation Handbook
Estimates flood risk in order to develop resilient infrastructure
The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology carries out a variety of long-term environmental monitoring, including air quality
UK Status, Change and Projections of the Environment
Smallholding farmer in India
Sustainable Use of Natural Resources to Improve Human Health and Support Economic Development
© Richard Comont. Image available under licence to NERC – Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Engaging members of the public on underwater fly larvae

Pages