Ways of working

To make the most out of water evidence, JWEP focusses on 4 main work-strands:

  • Coordinate
  • Collaboration
  • Innovative Methods
  • Maximising Benefits

JWEP circles


Hot Topics

When needed, we jointly commissions new, high impact Research and Development (R&D) assignments called Hot Topics. Hot Topics are variably funded by partner organisations, research councils which includes the funding of a JWEP Fellow.

Funding from Research Councils and Fellowships

Research councils, such as NERC and Defra Strategic Evidence and Assessment Group (SEA) have contributed approximately £600k towards 8 completed and ongoing Hot Topics (as of January 2015). Some of these projects are highlighted on the KTN Water Security website.

We continue to expand its collaborative ventures with other research groups and funding bodies.


Our international collaborations include knowledge exchange with water management projects in New Zealand and with Evidence Review experts in Austalia and Sweden.

Environment Agency LitResponse team

We work closely with the LitResponse team within the Evidence Directorate at the Environment Agency, who specialise in literature reviews and also have an interest in Quick Scoping Reviews.


Maximise Benefits

Benefits process

JWEP has a light touch process developed from 'Managing Successful Programmes' (OCG Publication) and other related guidance. The process is heavily informed by practical experience.

We have a pre and post project checklist to help highlight and evaluate the benefits of JWEP projects. Check out the JWEP Benefits Template.

Summary of benefits feedbacks

Coming soon



Project Mapping

The core JWEP team have previously studied partner organisations' respective programmes of work to help identify common interests, to facilitate the sharing of information and to encourage joint working. These exercises have been very informative and have in part, informed some of the Hot topic projects which JWEP are taking forward. JWEP completed a major project mapping exercise in May 2012 to highlight the common areas of R&D.

JWEP subsequently complete annual reviews of new project proposals at partner organisations to help coordinate JWEP work going forward.

JWEP's partner's publications

Defra's Evidence Strategy 
Defra publications 
Defra archive publications

Defra's latest research publications
Defra's science magazine: Elements 
Environment Agency publications 
Environment Agency Research & analysis

Environment Agency FCERM newsletter: Research News

Natural England publications

Forestry Commission England publications

Forestry Commission latest publications

Forestry Commission newsletter

Countryside Council Wales publications


Innovative Methods

Evidence Reviews

Evidence Reviews (ER) are a way of reviewing and making the most of existing research. An Evidence Research Fellow works with the JWEP core team to help deliver a range of ERs, to support their use across Defra and with other partners. We work with Defra and external partners to develop best practice and standards for how to best represent uncertainty in Evidence and for critical appraisal.  

How can Evidence Reviews help?
  • Evidence Reviews allow us to draw conclusions by maximising our use of the existing evidence.
  • Evidence Reviews follow a Systematic Review type approach but are less resource intensive (time and money) whilst still exerting a clear level of rigour and transparency in order to provide unbiased results
  • This work is based on Civil Service Guidelines for producing ERs and uses the same naming convention; Quick Scoping Reviews (QSRs) and Rapid Evidence Assessments (REAs). These are the two types of reviews that JWEP are currently focussing on.
  • A QSR is quicker and less detailed than a REA; further, a QSR will give a conclusion relating to the findings whereas an REA will give a critical appraisal of the results.  Full details of the differences between the two can be found in the guidance.

We have created and periodically update a 'how to' guide for the Production of Quick Scoping Reviews and Rapid Evidence Assessments.

We work with Centre for Evidence-Based Conservation (CEBC), which now acts as both a source of advice on evidence-based practice and a co-ordinating Centre of the fast-growing Collaboration for Environmental Evidence (CEE) helping others to undertake systematic reviews on issues of concern to policy and practice.


We have an interest in infographics and is actively exploring greater use of them, especially for Evidence Reviews.

Better commissioning

The Managed Service Provider Contract was developed to allow a consortium (led by Water Evidence Review Consortium, WERC) to deliver a range of evidence reviews (ERs) over a two year period for Defra's Water and Flood Risk Management (WFRM) team. These are mostly delivered in collaboration with EA scientists for the joint benefit of the EA. Before the tender document was released, an information meeting was held to provide information to potential bidders and to allow attendees to meet each other to be able to consider forming consortia. An extensive tender review process was undertaken before the successful group was selected. WERC is a consortium led by CEH, involved BGS, HR Wallingford, Atkins and a range of other key experts.