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Our Work

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The Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW) supports the Scottish Government and delivery partners to inform and steer water policy, by delivering objective and robust research and expert opinion. Aligned to our vision to get the right information, to the right people, in the right way at the right time, CREW provides high quality policy relevant research, recommendations, and guidance to its stakeholders. 


Established in 2011, CREW supports Scotland’s legislative Hydro Nation agenda and contributes to the delivery of the Strategy for Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Research 2022-2027 via the Strategic Research Programme (SRP). The Centre contributes to a range of Scottish/UK/EU policy development and implementation strategies, including the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Goal 6, for the provision of clean water and sanitation for all by 2030.

Policy areas

CREW is governed according to key policy areas in Scotland’s water sector including flooding, water scarcity, coastal erosion, catchment management, rural sustainability, water quality and health, and resource recovery. Cross-cutting activities focus on adapting to climate change, land use and urbanisation, promoting the circular economy, a post-COVID green recovery, the move to net zero and a just transition for communities. >


CREW’s themes are responsive and linked to contemporary and emerging issues and the disciplines required to deliver knowledge to support policy. The themes for 2022-27 are pictured below, with links to individual theme pages.


Water and Society

Hydrological Extremes, Coasts and Risk Management

  • Policy: Water and Climate Policy/Regulation, Natural Flood Management, Coastal Erosion Management.

  • Science: flooding, water scarcity, coastal erosion, risk scenarios and nature-based solutions.

Land and Water Resource Management

Land and Water Resource Management
  • Policy: River Basin Management Planning (RBMP 3), Nature Capital, Post CAP Rural Support.

  • Science: water and soil management, energy, land use, diffuse pollution, resource recovery and reuse

Water Quality and Health

Water Quality and Health

Policy: Water Framework Directive, Drinking Water Directive, Water, Wastewater and Drainage

Science: drinking water, waste water, human & environmental health, epidemiology and contaminants.