Flood and coastal erosion risk management research and development

Flooding is one of the biggest natural hazards affecting the people, the economy, and the environment in Wales. Climate change is expected to increase these risks, increasing the frequency and intensity of weather events resulting in increased flooding and coastal erosion.

We have published our Flood Risk Management plan for 2023 to 2029 setting out our priorities for reducing the risk and impacts of flooding and our approach to adapting and mitigating against climate change impacts.

Taking forward these priorities, we need to ensure our decisions, operations and advice to Government and others are underpinned by sound and quality-assured science and evidence.

We will use the best available evidence to inform our decisions, to ensure we are responding to both current and future impacts of flooding and coastal erosion.

Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Research and Development Programme

To help meet our evidence needs, we work in collaboration with the Welsh Government, Environment Agency and Defra on the joint Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM) research and development programme.

The programme covers England and Wales and aims to serve the needs of all flood and coastal risk management authorities in England and Wales.  The programme is managed and delivered by the Environment Agency and Defra.  NRW have an active and important role in helping shape the programme and individual projects to meet our evidence needs.

Areas of Research Interest

We have worked with the Environment Agency, Defra and the Welsh Government to set out these areas of research interest for the Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM) research and development programme.  These areas of research interest are used to concentrate research activities and engagement across the programme to ensure that evidence is being produced where it is needed most.

These areas of research are

  • lists of pressing research issues and outcomes we need to achieve.
  • a way to express to others where we want to collate existing research in certain topics.

Areas of research interest to 2028

These are the areas of research interest to 2028, grouped into eight topics.

  1. Understanding future flood and coastal erosion risk 

We need to better understand the probability and impact of flooding and coastal erosion today, tomorrow and to the year 2100.

  1. Resilience and adaptation to flooding and coastal change

Our research needs to help people plan for, better protect, respond to, and recover from flooding, as well as coastal change.

  1. Funding and investment 

We aim to attract innovative new sources of funding and finance for flood and coastal erosion risk management in England and Wales. We also want to make sure that our investments have multiple benefits and are fit for the future.

  1. Flood incident management

Research can improve how risk management authorities prepare for and respond to flood incidents in England and Wales.

  1. Asset management

Flood and coastal erosion risk management assets can be any natural or man-made structure or feature, such as walls, buildings, earth embankments, shingle banks or raised areas of land. We need to understand how they can be best designed and operated.

  1. Digital technology

New and emerging digital technologies can help us to better understand and respond to flooding and coastal erosion and provide new opportunities to manage flooding and coastal erosion. 

  1. Net zero and sustainability

Managing flooding and coastal erosion supports government targets for UK emissions to reach net zero by 2050, mitigate any environmental loss, and enhance natural capital.

  1. Integrated outcomes

Flood and coastal erosion risk management is inter-disciplinary and can provide multiple and integrated outcomes for society, the economy and the environment. 

Further information is available on the joint programme webpage.

If you would like to contact the programme to share information on how your work relates, or if you want to hear from the programme team when a new research activity is starting, use the areas of research interest form

If you want to request support from the programme for a research partnership follow instructions on how to apply for research support

Contact Us

If you would like to contact NRW directly, please use the details below.



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