Water Action

What is Water Action?

Water Action is a where local case studies, identified from our own evidence base, are used to shape and enforce water policies to improve the condition of our waters.

Gathering evidence

We have and continue to grow a solid evidence base, thanks to our Riverfly Census and its volunteer arm SmartRivers.

This data paints a true picture of the health of rivers and the problems our wild fish are facing.

Building a case

Using the evidence we find examples of where existing water policies are not fit for purpose and lobby for change.

We also identify areas where good policy is not being enforced.

Our current cases

Chemical Pollution

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Our campaign to stop Bakkavor from pouring pesticides from washing imported salad leaves into the headwaters of the Itchen, one of our most protected waters, is poised to set a national precedent.

Agricultural Pollution


Rules exist to prevent farmers polluting our rivers with deadly sediment, phosphate and chemicals. Our Riverfly Census and SmartRivers provides the evidence but there is a near total failure by the Environment Agency in England and NRW in Wales to enforce against farming pollution.

We are determined to change this with your help.


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All our rivers are managed under the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and classified the same way. This generic, one size fits all approach is not protecting chalkstreams and their distinct biological commmunities.

We're calling for ambitious, bespoke regulatory targets for all chalkstreams which recognise and manage them as the unique habitats they are.


Dry riverbed on Upper Avon catchment

Nearly a quarter of English rivers are at serious risk from unsustainable water abstraction.

Major interventions are urgently needed on both the demand and supply sides to tackle the problem.

Latest Water Action News

S&TC and the Arundell open applications for the 2022 Anne Voss Bark Memorial Award

Monday 9th May Salmon & Trout Conservation and the Arundell open applications for the 2022 Anne Voss Bark Memorial Award. […] Read More

Government’s Storm Overflows Discharge Reduction Plan not nearly enough

Tuesday 3rd May The Government opened consultation for its Storm Overflow Discharge Reduction plan on Thursday 31st March. Intended by […] Read More

Using SmartRivers evidence – taking water quality action on the River Chew

To better understand the water quality pressures influencing the River Chew, Bristol Avon Rivers Trust (BART) enrolled onto the Salmon […] Read More

Government’s Strategic Policy Statement for water presented to Parliament

Wednesday 2nd February The Government’s Strategic Policy Statement (SPS) for water has been laid before Parliament today. The report urges […] Read More

S&TC welcomes Environmental Audit Committee damning report on Water Quality in Rivers

Salmon & Trout Conservation welcomes Environmental Audit Committee damning report on Water Quality in Rivers MPs leave nowhere for Government, […] Read More

The Government’s reply to S&TC’s Parliamentary petition

The Government’s reply to S&TC’s Parliamentary petition “Give the Environment Agency the funds and freedom to protect English rivers” completely […] Read More

Freshwater Biological Association – courses are back for 2022

The Freshwater Biological Association (FBA) is alive and well, and pleased to announce that training courses are back for 2022! It […] Read More

Illegal dumping of raw sewage in our rivers…

The Government admits to a massive failure to prevent illegal dumping of raw sewage in our rivers. Thursday, 18th November […] Read More

Disappointing but not a surprise: the Government’s response on sewage pollution

Salmon & Trout Conservation (S&TC) is very disappointed, but not surprised, that the Government has decided to remove the duty […] Read More

Chalk streams: at the frontline of the river crisis

Salmon & Trout Conservation (S&TC) welcomes the new Chalk Stream Restoration Strategy, published today, calling for chalk streams in England […] Read More

S&TC submits formal complaint following failure to enforce sewage pollution laws to protect English rivers

Monday, 13th September 2021 Salmon & Trout Conservation has submitted a formal complaint to the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) […] Read More

FreshWater Watch: John’s Story

As you probably already know, SmartRivers is proud to be part of the Riverfly Partnership’s ‘Riverfly Plus’ toolkit, alongside other […] Read More

Documents Archive


Updated weekly, we produce a water resources spreadsheet that consolidates UK discharge notices for abstraction or impounding water.

The spreadsheet lists applications made and submitted to the Environment Agency.

Please email the S&TC admin office to request access to the spreadsheet

We rely on your support to protect wild fish and the places they live.

By donating or joining as a member you will be making a huge contribution to the fight to protect the UK's waters and ensure a sustainable future for wild fish.

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