Flood hydrology for the next 25 years and beyond

A flood hydrology roadmap for research and practice in the UK over the next 25 years

A flood hydrology roadmap released in March 2022 sets out a vision to help scientists and practitioners better predict future flood events and improve flood resilience across the UK.  JBA Trust helped in shaping and peer reviewing the roadmap, which has been published by the Environment Agency on behalf of the UK flood hydrology community.

The roadmap brings together the views of more than 100 experts from over 50 organisations. It will improve hydrological data, models and science, which can be used to inform how the UK adapts to flood risk from rivers, surface water, groundwater and reservoirs.

Flood hydrology roadmap outline

These models and data sets will underpin flood risk management for decades to come, with benefits to areas including:

  • design and maintenance of flood defences
  • national and local flood risk assessment and mapping
  • the design and operation of flood forecasting and warning schemes
  • design and operation of sustainable drainage systems
  • understanding the benefits of nature-based flood management systems.

The roadmap sets out steps for better understanding of the impact of environmental changes on flood risk, and will support improved modelling of past and future impacts of climate and land use change.

By bringing together the views of scientists and practitioners from a wide range of disciplines and sectors, the roadmap advances flood hydrology both as a technical discipline and as a profession. It is a landmark report that will shape hydrology and flood management for years to come. 

– Rob Lamb, JBA Trust director and member of roadmap steering group

This roadmap provides us with a fantastic opportunity to better understand the science behind flooding and will be an invaluable tool in helping us understand future flood risk.

– Dr Sean Longfield, Environment Agency, lead author of the report

With £6.9 million already secured by the Environment Agency to start delivering on the roadmap, it will be a foundation for continuing investment in the science and practice of hydrology in the UK. The estimated funding for science, innovation and improvements in practice required to implement the roadmap is between £110 million and £165 million over the next 25 years. We need continued and improved partnership working and collaboration across the flood hydrology community to succeed in achieving the vision of the UK flood hydrology roadmap.

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