Flood hydrology roadmap

Developing a hydrology roadmap for the UK to highlight priority work in this topic area.


Flood hydrology roadmap - report (5.4MB) PDF

Flood hydrology roadmap - appendices (10.4MB) PDF

Flood hydrology roadmap - questionnaire (164KB) EXCEL

Flood hydrology roadmap - survey responses (3.7MB) PDF

Project summary

The flood hydrology roadmap sets out a vision for flood hydrology in the UK for the next 25 years. It is accompanied by an action plan that details how that vision will be achieved.

The roadmap will cover England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland from 2021 to 2046. It considers all sources of inland flooding, including fluvial, pluvial and sewers, groundwater and reservoirs. It also considers all inland flood hydrology activities in the UK, from operational practice to scientific research.


Development of the roadmap has been driven by:

  • the scale of investment that flood hydrology data, methods, models and expertise underpin (around £6 billion over the next 6 years)
  • the need to support the implementation of flood risk management strategies across the UK
  • the need to improve partnership working and collaboration across the UK flood hydrology community
  • the need to improve the translation of science into practice
  • the need to deal with known limitations and issues in existing operational flood hydrology methods
  • the need for flood hydrology to account for and predict the impacts of future environmental change (climate change and land use change)
  • the opportunity for flood hydrology to contribute to net zero carbon targets


The Environment Agency has led the roadmap project, but the roadmap itself has been developed by and for the UK flood hydrology community. It is built around a vision for the next 25 years which states that:

  • during the next 25 years society will have improved hydrological information and understanding to manage flood hazard in a changing world
  • flood hydrology and whole system process understanding will be underpinned by excellent evidence with quantified uncertainty
  • leadership and collaboration are crucial to achieving this vision

This vision will be realised through 31 actions grouped into 4 work areas:

  • ways of working
  • data
  • methods
  • scientific understanding

Next steps

The successful long-term delivery of the UK flood hydrology roadmap vision will require strong leadership and improved partnership working and collaboration across the flood hydrology community. The estimated funding required to implement the roadmap is between £110 million and £165 million over the next 25 years.

Project information

Project manager: Dr Sean Longfield, Flood & Coastal Risk Management Research

This project was commissioned by the Environment Agency’s FCRM Directorate, as part of the joint Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Research and Development Programme.

A Welsh translation of the summary is also available.

Published 1 March 2021
Last updated 21 April 2022 + show all updates
  1. A Welsh translation of the project summary has been added to the project information heading.

  2. Project outputs published under documents heading. A project summary has been added to the project page. The project status is now marked as completed.

  3. First published.