Heavy rain

Flood research

Our online resource is designed to support business, and those working with business, identify research to support their projects and decision-making in preparing for and responding to flood events. It includes current and completed UK Research Council-funded research from the past decade, as well as new projects to watch for results in the coming years.

The projects are assigned to categories titled before, during and after a flood, or  can be filtered using the following broad classifications:

Particular thanks to Dr Paola Hernandez Montes de Oca (University of Leeds and Professor Bingunath Ingirige (University of Huddersfield) for their assistance in reviewing this resource. Thanks also to Graham Brogden (Aviva) for his time and advice, as well as all speakers and participants at the ARCC flooding and business workshop held in Leeds in October 2017.

Future urban flood risk management

Newcastle University

October 2016 – September 2019

Our intent is to work out and demonstrate how resilience to floods and droughts can be achieved using integrated systems of Blue-Green and Grey assets, no matter how climate changes in future, assuring continuous, long term service delivery.

Research Council: EPSRC

GI and the health and wellbeing influences on an ageing population

University of Manchester

August 2016 – July 2019

ADDED BONUS OF GI for people: access to health and wellbeing benefits is not shared equally amongst the population, particularly in urban areas. People aged 65 and over are most likely to suffer from poor health, yet this group may be the least likely to benefit from green infrastructure (GI).

Research Council: NERC

Green approaches in river engineering – supporting implementation of green infrastructure

HR Wallingford

February 2016 – April 2017

The river or watercourse is a natural or semi-natural corridor or infrastructure element. Rivers are part of this green network, which has the potential to provide higher resilience and cost-effectiveness as well as more social and environmental benefits than conventional infrastructure. This research brings together the strategic arguments and the technical information needed to support the selection of GI approaches and, through a series of case studies, provides evidence on construct-ability, engineering performance and environmental and social benefits.

Research Council: NERC

Green growth: increasing resilience in cities through the delivery of green infrastructure-based solutions

University of Manchester

April 2016 – June 2018

Despite a wealth of scientific understanding on the importance of GI, the implementation and uptake of GI in new developments in the UK is lacking. It is envisaged that the approach implemented in this project will be adopted by other organisations and stakeholders, and in doing so, will help multi-functional GI-based solutions to become part of business-as-usual city growth in new developments.

Research Council: NERC

Green roof research

University of Sheffield

A project with particular relevance for SMEs, it explore stormwater management and prediction of the runoff response from a green roof for any arbitrary rainfall time series.

Research Council: Other

How does your garden flow? The impact of domestic front gardens on urban flooding

Heriot-Watt University

With rainfall projected to increase under future climate conditions, research has shown that domestic front gardens play a pivotal role in the control of surface water following heavy rainfall. If you have an outdoor area or parking spaces for your clients, then impermeable paving can generate substantial volumes of runoff during a storm even which can contribute to localised flooding.

Research Council: Other


Bath Spa University

February 2013 – June 2013

This is a creative contribution to the ways in which citizens and communities live with each other and their environment in relation to water in a range of UK neighbourhoods. The research asks a series of questions about what communities are, how they function, and the role of environmental (water) assets and issues in the coming together of communities, conflicts within and between communities, and progress to interconnected community and environmental resilience. The ongoing online forum provides a space for the Towards Hydrocitizenship project team and anyone else interested in water to share thoughts, ideas, other projects, and generally to be part of creative conversations about water and water issues.

Research Council: AHRC

Impact of type of building on drying time

University College London


Risk exposure reduction and preparedness measures inevitably vary with the nature of the SME business. SMEs returning to premises after a flood event have to go through short-term emergency reaction, and prioritisation of remediation. Flood damage to such premises can hinder recovery, for instance, the type and construction of a building may significantly alter its ability to dry during a flood. There are also health risks to operating in damp, flooded buildings.

Research Council: EPSRC

Increasing Civil Society’s capacity to deal with changing extreme weather risk: negotiating dichotomies in theory and practice

University of the West of England

January 2017 – December 2019

UK government approaches to the management of increasing extreme weather risk have shifted since the mid-1990s from a top-down centrally imposed model to devolved responsibility where Civil Society (CS) is a key player. This seminar series aims to critically examine the changing role of CS in Extreme Weather Adaptation (preparation, recovery, prevention, mitigation, evaluation). Businesses, particularly SMEs, will have the opportunity to reflect on how they can embed within community networks and have a mutually supportive role in community resilience planning within the EWAC.

Research Council: ESRC

Investigating SME resilience to flooding – the Braunton report

University of Huddersfield


SMEs often become ‘experts through experience’; this study focused on the effects of flooding on a single village street, case studies including the negative impacts like loss of customers, damage to stock and electrical equipment. Many resilience measures can be taken to be better prepared for future floods, such as moving critical storage items upstairs, raising levels of electrical sockets, and having plans to evacuate stock and vulnerable equipment

Research Council: EPSRC