Testing river water

Key issues

Use this section to explore the major threats that our rivers are facing, get clued up on the latest data available, and browse some useful resources that can help rivers thrive.

Explore the issues

Underwater photo with hand reaching towards reeds in the water

State of Our Rivers

The race to climate resilience will be won or lost on rivers – and right now we’re losing.

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A CSO with wetwipes clinging to the bars

Raw sewage in our rivers

Sewage is discharged into rivers across the UK and Ireland on a daily basis. This isn’t an isolated problem; it occurs up and down the country, affecting urban city centre rivers and pristine chalk streams alike.

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Icebergs from above

Climate change

Our movement plays a critical role in building climate resilient landscapes across the UK and Ireland. Find out how thriving rivers will help us cope better with the climate crisis.

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A river in the countryside

Habitat loss

Despite covering less than 1% of the earth’s surface, freshwater ecosystems provide habitat for more than 100,000 known wildlife species! However, habitat degradation has negatively impacted rivers across the UK and Ireland.

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River in drought

Drought and water scarcity

Many people don’t even realise that the UK and Ireland experience drought; after all, we’re known for our rain! However, it only takes a few sunny days to dry our vulnerable rivers to the point that they virtually disappear.

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Man holds glass beaker full of water over a river


Water is arguably our most precious natural resource — yet pollution of our freshwater habitats runs rampant. In 2020, no river in England and Wales was classed as being in good overall health.

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Flooded River


Flooding is a natural event. In fact, from an ecological perspective, it’s a really important process! It can help to create new habitats, transport nutrients, and consequently increase biodiversity. However, flooding is happening on a scale far greater than ever before.

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