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

Collage of images representing the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation
Helping regional businesses make the move to a lower carbon economy
Somerset Levels
Long-term strategies for the UK's largest wetland area
The river Elbe floods Meissen, Germany in 2013
Establishing a worldwide hydrological status and outlook system
Mekedatu, place where the Kaveri River flows through a narrow ravine. (CC BY 2.0) By Renjith Sasidharan https://www.flickr.com/photos/renjithks/3845336695
Upscaling local water management interventions to inform larger-scale decision-making in the Cauvery basin, India
High flow in a river
November 2016 Hydrological Summary for the UK
Monitoring phytoplankton at Windermere
Investigating extreme weather impacts on lake ecosystems
Docks at Liverpool
Presenting research to international audiences
Flooded Lyth Valley, Cumbria in December
Q&A with Nick Reynard, CEH's Natural Hazards Science Area Lead
Splashing rain droplets
Relevance of AMR to environmental regulators and policymakers
Harvest rice field in Xiangtan, Hunan, China (CC BY-SA 3.0) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rice_field,_Hunan.JPG#filelinks
CEH signs collaboration agreement with the Hunan Provincial Agriculture Committee

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