Contact Professor Keith Weatherhead

Areas of expertise

  • Water Science and Engineering


From a farming background, Professor Keith Weatherhead graduated in Engineering Science and Economics from Oxford University. After undertaking VSO in Ghana, he worked for international consultants in water resources and irrigation development for seven years, particularly in Indonesia, qualifying as a chartered civil engineer.

He joined Cranfield University in 1981, on the Silsoe and now Cranfield campuses. He gained his PhD on water resource management as a staff member in 2001. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, and the Higher Education Academy.

He has developed methodologies for predicting future agricultural water demand and for assessing irrigation water needs, and contributed to the improvement of abstraction licensing policy and legislation in England. He has led teams modelling climate change impacts in England, Sri Lanka and Spain, and assessing the potential adaptations in the irrigated agriculture and irrigated sports turf sectors.

Internationally, he has supervised research into tea and sugar cane irrigation in Africa, small scale irrigation methods, and climate adaptation in the water and sanitation sector.

Current activities

Professor Keith Weatherhead undertakes research on climate change adaption, future agricultural water demand, and water resources for irrigation. On-going research projects include projects on water trading (EPSRC/LWEC) and current and water supply for agriculture (BBSRC, Defra). He is supervising PhD students researching how to handle uncertainty in climate adaptation, the role for farmer groups in water allocation, and small-scale pumped irrigation in Africa. He works closely with the UK water sector, and is a member of the CIWEM Water Resources Panel, the UK Irrigation Association executive committee, and the NFU-led Water for Food group.


  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
  • European Commission
  • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • Environment Agency


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers