UK Drought & Water Scarcity

About Drought – The UK Drought & Water Scarcity Programme

The IEA is part of this vital and wide-ranging programme releasing a large number of datasets to support the important decisions being made about water scarcity, drought and low water flows.

This £12m programme is already supporting improved decision-making by taking an interdisciplinary approach and providing research that identifies, predicts and responds to the inter-relationships between their multiple drivers and impacts through four projects:

DRY: Drought risk and you, bringing together stories and science for better decision-making.
Historic Droughts: Understanding past drought episodes to develop improved tools for the future.
IMPETUS: Improving predictions of drought to inform user decisions.
MaRIUS: Managing the risks, impacts and uncertainties of drought and water scarcity.

Interdisciplinary & cross-sectoral

The IEA is heavily involved in About Drought – the knowledge-sharing project (also known as ENDOWS) which brings all the projects, data releases and outcomes together in one place and disseminates them to energy and water companies, industry, farmers, environmental organisations, communities, specialist groups such as wildlife conservation, and policy-makers. About Drought has brought together a range of expertise leading to significant advances in our understanding of the many complex, interlinked drivers of drought; the wide range of impacts; and the diversity of management responses.

Stakeholder events & workshops

Events including workshops, webinars and a cross-sectoral stakeholder conference bring together researchers and an academic conference is planned.

The programme has examined the range of ways in which drought and water scarcity affect people and the environment. These include physically-based global circulation models examining climate change through to the effect on crop yields, river habitats, power generation, oral histories and community modelling. These are just some of the subjects covered, for more visit

The programme is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) in collaboration with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and contributes to NERC’s natural hazards and climate system strategic science themes.


Watch the About Drought short documentary here.

For media enquiries please call Sally Stevens on 07740 674074.

Email the project office at

four About Drought projects
Four projects feed into About Drought