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

Video still from overview of Catchment Managment Modelling Platform
Launch of the Catchment Management Modelling Platform
Flooding © Heather Lowther, CEH
Providing advanced warning for the public and to safeguard the economy
© Shutterstock
Effective water research and management all across the UK
January 2017 UK river flows
January 2017 UK Hydrological Summary
Llyn Cwmystradllyn  © Rosie McDonald
New environmental standards, tools for monitoring ecological quality, and successful restoration
The vendace found in survey this year.  Photo: Ian Winfield.
Rare underwater footage of vendace fish in Derwent Water
COSMOS station at University of Lincoln's Riseholme campus
Further developments for the CEH-led COSMOS-UK network
Blackboard with the words 'New Skills' and 'Training'
Topics include lake ecology and water, land and crop management
Flooding in England
Providing hydrology and forecast model expertise

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