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.

Wild fish and their waters need your help

Our report on the Environment Agency (EA), “Doing its Job exposed its lamentable failure to protect our rivers and their wildlife. Now we need your support.

We have now launched a public petition calling on Government to give the EA the mandate and resources to do a proper job. The EA needs to be shorn of Government directions to put the economy before the environment and it needs the funding to enforce existing legislation without fear or favour.

We are asking you to sign, and share as widely as you can, Salmon & Trout Conservation’s Parliamentary Petition.

“Give the Environment Agency the funds and freedom to protect English rivers”.

Our current cases

Chemical Pollution

Screenshot 2019-06-17 at 15.14.00

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 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

Ofwat responds to sewage pollution

That announcement included the stark admission that sewage pollution was happening, at least in part, because “water infrastructure has not […] Read More

The watchdog that lost its bite

Salmon & Trout Conservation (S&TC) has today published “Doing its job?”, a report on the state of the Environment Agency […] Read More

A legal duty to “effectually deal” with sewage

Salmon & Trout Conservation (S&TC) has written to (read the letter here) the Parliamentary Under Secretary Of State at Defra, […] Read More

We are recruiting

Water Policy Manager Job title: Water Policy Manager Reports to: Head of Science & Policy/Deputy CEO Location: Work from home, […] Read More

River Action UK announces advisory board

Latest news River Action UK launched in February this year and the creation of their new advisory board in their […] Read More

Anne Voss Bark Memorial Award

Who is the Anne Voss Bark award open to? The award is open to young fisheries or aquatic students and […] Read More

Relief for Welsh rivers as Government commit to agricultural pollution regulations

Members and supporters of Salmon & Trout Conservation in Wales will be well aware of our relief that the Welsh […] Read More

NRW’s planning advice on Wye pollution ineffective say conservation organisations Fish Legal and Salmon & Trout Conservation

Aquatic conservation organisations Fish Legal and Salmon & Trout Conservation (S&TC) have written to Natural Resources Wales (NRW) about on-going […] Read More

River Lugg: EA issued with EDR

Salmon & Trout Conservation issues formal request to the Environment Agency under the Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) (England) Regulations […] Read More

Severn Trent to adopt SmartRivers

SmartRivers welcomes its first water company hosted volunteer hub We are pleased to announce that Severn Trent is the first […] 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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