interactive online course


from £249


27-28 September 2023

Implications for management of rivers and wetlands


This course is online.

We also run this course in person, in Wallingford subject to demand.


Students £249

Professionals £299


28th and 29th of September 2023

The online course will run over two half days - 9.30am to 1pm daily.

Please sign up online now via this link: Water requirements - Sep 2023 (credit and debit cards accepted)

For other locations and dates, please continue expressing your interest here!

Short course description:

Aquatic ecosystems are increasingly recognised as legitimate water users as they provide essential ecosystem services and support our quality of life. But how much water do they need?

Through a mix of lectures and practical exercises, this one-day course will equip you with knowledge, tools and experience to assess the water requirements of freshwater ecosystems and understand the implications for water resources and flood management.

Learning outcomes:

By the end of the course you will understand the principles and methods to determine the water requirements of freshwater ecosystems, including rivers and wetlands.

Course objectives: 

  1. ​​​Understand the concept of environmental water needs

  2. Learn the principles of methods to determine environmental water needs

  3. Investigate examples of environmental water determination

  4. Undertake practical exercises using simple tools

  5. Recognise challenges of implementing environmental water allocations

Target audience: 

  • MSc, PhD,

  • water companies,

  • early career researchers/ academics

  • Water Management practitioners, policy makers and

  • Water  regulators

  • Environmental consultants

  • River trusts, wildlife conservation organisations

  • Water utilities


Beginner – intermediate level

Prior knowledge of basic principles of Hydrology and a general understanding of Freshwater ecosystems an advantage, but not essential


20 maximum

Software and hardware requirements:

We will use Zoom for the online course.

 We will use open-access software for some of the exercises. TBC


For in person courses the cost of accommodation is not included in the price.

Accommodation guides can be found in our FAQs.

Course leader:

Prof. Mike Acreman UKCEH Fellow

Mike has 35 years of experience in eco-hydrology and led CEH's Natural Capital science area until 2017. He led the science that established the environmental flow requirements for UK rivers and has written many books and journal papers on the subject. He has taught courses on environmental flows and wetland hydrology for University College London, World Bank and European Commission. He has been a scientific advisor on environmental flows in China and Tanzania. He was a member of the Ramsar Convention on Wetland’s science advisory panel for 20 years.


Dr. Cedric Laize Hydro-ecological modeller, UKCEH

Cedric’s research interests include environmental flows, physical habitat, eco-hydrology and hydro-climatology.

Relevant links and key publications:

Acreman, M.C. & Dunbar, M.J. 2004 Methods for defining environmental river flow requirements – a review. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. 8, 5, 861-876.

Acreman, M.C., Dunbar, M.J., Hannaford, J., Wood, P.J., Holmes, N.J., Cowx, I., Noble, R., Mountford, J.O., King, J., Black, A., Extence, C., Crookall, D. & Aldrick, J. 2008. Developing environmental standards for abstractions from UK rivers to implement the Water Framework Directive. Hydrological Sciences Journal, 53, 6, 1105-1120.

Acreman, M.C., Aldrick, J., Binnie, C., Black, A.R., Cowx, I., Dawson, F.H., Dunbar, M.J., Extence, C., Hannaford, J., Harby, A., Holmes, N.T., Jarrett, N., Old, G., Peirson, G., Webb, J., Wood, P.J. 2009 Environmental flows from dams; the Water Framework Directive. Engineering Sustainability. 162, ESI, 13-22.

Acreman, M.C., Ferguson, A. 2010 Environmental flows and European Water Framework Directive. Freshwater Biology 55, 32-48

Acreman, M.C. (ed) 2014 Hydrological Sciences Journal. Special Issue on Hydrological Science for Environmental Flows.

Acreman, M.C., Overton, I., King, J., Wood, P., Cowx, I., Dunbar, M.J., Kendy, E., Young, W. 2014 The changing role of science in environmental flows Hydrological Sciences Journal. 59, 3-4, 433-450

Acreman, M. 2016 Environmental flows; basics for novices WIREs Water DOI: 10.1002/WAT2.1160

Dunbar, M.J., Warren, M., Extence, C., Baker, L., Cadman, D., Mould, D.J., Hall, J. and Chadd, R., 2010. Interaction between macroinvertebrates, discharge and physical habitat in upland rivers. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 20, pp.S31-S44.

Horne, A., Webb, J.A., Stewardson, M., Richter, B., M., Acreman, M.C. (eds) 2017 Water for the environment; from policy and science to implementation and management. Elsevier

Laize, C., Acreman, M.C., Schneider, C., Dunbar, M.J., Hougton-Carr, H., Flörke, M., Hannah, D. 2014 Projected flow alteration and ecological risk for pan-European rivers. Rivers Research and Applications 30, 3, 299-314