The Centre for Water, Environment and Development undertakes cutting-edge transformational research and teaching to support integrated solutions to the world’s most profound water challenges (regarding availability, use, supply and quality) that take account of the needs of people and the environment within a context of equitable and sustainable development. Read more Read less

Socio-economic development, population growth, climate change and environmental degradation are exerting huge pressures on our water environment both in the UK and globally. Sustainably providing water of appropriate quality to meet the needs of people, industry and agriculture without compromising the environment, and the vital ecosystem services it delivers, is essential to society and human wellbeing.

To address these challenges, the Centre for Water, Environment and Development brings together highly experienced staff with internationally leading expertise in catchment science, climate change, environmental chemistry and microbiology, water quality monitoring, systems modelling, environmental engineering, green technologies and nature-based solutions, WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) and irrigation science.

We help support and develop the next generation of water professionals through our full- and part-time MSc courses in Advanced Water Management and Water for Sustainable Development and through our doctoral training programmes and cohort of PhD research students. Our research, consultancy and education activities are therefore focused around five core areas or ‘communities of practice’:


Our facilities

Our research, consultancy, education and training activities are underpinned by world class facilities including:

  • Sensors laboratory
  • State-of-the-art clean water, fermentation, microbiology, wastewater and water chemistry laboratories that have extensive analytical services;
  • A managed borehole drilling site;
  • Soil and irrigation testing facilities;
  • State-of-the-art sediment erosion flume for research on fine-grained river sediment and soil;
  • On-site sewage treatment works, with its own dedicated pilot-plant hall;
  • Greywater treatment facility, where treatment technologies can be installed and tested.
  • Real-time hydrological monitoring as part of Cranfield’s Urban Observatory.

Recent investment has added an unparalleled environmental analytical facility for micro-pollutants and emerging contaminants in soil, waste, water and wastewater media.