Research at EA

Evidence underpins the work of the Environment Agency.

This includes improving the quality of the environment and reducing the impact of hazards such as pollution, floods, droughts and climate change. Our research provides the understanding, tools and techniques needed to achieve these outcomes.

The research team is part of the Evidence Directorate. Our work includes:

  • providing expert scientific and technical advice, reports and guidance
  • determining scientific priorities for the Environment Agency
  • making sure we have the right research in place to meet current and future needs
  • providing a chemical regulatory service on behalf of the UK Government
  • identifying future issues and problems and assessing their significance
  • developing innovative approaches and tools to solve environmental problems
  • supporting incident response

Our research programmes

Joint Defra/EA Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management R&D Programme

Joint Water Evidence Group projects

Air, Land and Water Research Programme

The programme has 6 themes:

  • catchment management – supporting river basin planning including catchment-based science and hydromorphology
  • land and water quality – impacts, risks and control of pollution in soil, groundwater and surface water
  • fisheries and biodiversity – protecting and managing aquatic species, including monitoring and diagnostic tools
  • regulated industry – supporting permitting and guidance with a focus on air quality and nuclear regulation
  • climate change – understanding the impacts of climate change and supporting adaptation and resilience in business and the environment
  • resource use – the sustainable management of natural resources including water supplies and solid wastes

Our collaborative research priorities: 2016 to 2020

These priorities set out some of the big research questions facing the Environment Agency in delivering our duties and protecting the environment and human health. It is intended to inform external researchers and research funders of longer term priorities where we would welcome opportunities to work in partnership.

Collaborative research priorities for the Environment Agency


Recent research reports and summaries can be found in our publications catalogue.

Older publications are held in The National Archives.

Joint Water Evidence Group (JWEG) outputs are available on the JWEG website and our partner’s website.


We work collaboratively where this can deliver shared research objectives more cost-effectively. Our partners include the Defra network, UK Research Councils, UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR), Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA), universities and EU-funded project partners.

Contact us

For further information please contact:, Deputy Director, Research, Air, Land and Water Programme Manager, Group Leader, Joint Water Evidence Group (Land and Water), Theme Expert Air, Land and Water, Theme Expert Climate Change and Resource Use, Communities and Flooding Programme Manager, Theme Expert Communities and Flooding