Research at EA

Research and 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
  • climate change

Our research provides the understanding, tools and techniques needed to achieve these outcomes.

This 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 / Environment Agency Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM) Research and Development Programme

Find out about the FCERM Research and Development programme.

Environment Agency 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

Defra/Environment Agency Joint Water Evidence Programme (JWEP)

JWEP brings together the water-related research of Defra and the Environment Agency and provides a focus for external collaboration. This is explained in Joint Water Environment Programme (JWEP) - summary (PDF, 205 KB, 2 pages).

JWEP has commissioned a number of evidence reviews and has published a guide to the production of Quick Scoping Reviews and Rapid Evidence Assessments.


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

Older publications are held in The National Archives.


We work collaboratively where we can. Sharing research objectives is more cost-effective.

Our partners include:

  • others within the Defra group
  • UK Research Councils
  • UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR)
  • Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA)
  • universities
  • EU-funded project partners

Contact us

For further information please contact:, Deputy Director, Research, Theme Expert Air, Land and Water, Theme Expert Climate Change and Resource Use, FCERM Research and Development programme, for more information on Research at the Environment Agency