Hydrological research infrastructure in the UK is receiving unprecedented levels of investment, and this will benefit the Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM) community through the provision of improved data, models, understanding, and prediction. To make the most of this investment, the whole FCERM community should be engaged.

The Floods and Droughts Research Infrastructure (FDRI) scoping project funded by Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) aimed to establish the requirements for a potential new national FDRI, and provide NERC with the information needed to submit a business case. The FDRI scoping project ran for 21-months from May 2020 to January 2022.

The primary objective of an FDRI is to increase the UK’s resilience to floods and droughts through a transformational research capability, which will dramatically improve in UK’s flood and drought forecasting, planning, incident response & management.

The Scoping Study team was led by the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and comprised researchers from the University of Bristol, Imperial College London, and the British Geological Survey.

Building on NERC-funded community workshops in 2019, which identified strong stakeholder interest in engaging with a dedicated scoping project, the FDRI team sought views, ideas and inputs from a broad range of stakeholders across business, landowners, government and regulatory agencies via a series of surveys, webinars and virtual workshops. The team also carried out a thorough review of past and ongoing flood and drought monitoring programmes, both in the UK and internationally.


As per the most recent project update, the study FDRI scoping study deliverables provided by the delivery team included:

  • an internal report - meeting the requirements of the Strategic Outline Case and including details of proposed investment options (indicating the preferred one)
  • annexes to the internal report - including the FDRI Science Case, scoping methodology, innovation and sustainability strategy and benefits realisation plan
  • an evidence pack - providing comprehensive information on the consultation
  • an external report - now reviewed and finalised and ready for dissemination to the FDRI community.