Protect Water


Europe’s waters are protected under EU law – but many governments now want to weaken the law

Together, we MUST stop this from happening


We all need water to survive - yet 60% of Europe’s rivers, streams, lakes and wetlands are not healthy, and the future of salmon and trout is severely threatened. For generations we have destroyed and polluted our rivers, and used too much water irresponsibly.

EU water law protects our waters, but governments now want to weaken it. Act NOW: tell the European Commission to keep the law strong through its public consultation - your only chance to tell them to keep our water laws fit for purpose.

As part of a European-wide #ProtectWater campaign, we have prepared responses that will best ensure the law is kept safe. To send this to the Commission on your behalf, please fill in your details below and click ‘ACT NOW.


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According to the latest data, 60% of Europe’s rivers, streams, lakes and wetlands are not healthy. For generations we have destroyed and polluted them, and used too much water irresponsibly.

If we continue in this way, it will affect everything - from small things in our day-to-day lives we take for granted, to keeping entire industries going. It will also affect all the countless species that need these ecosystems to survive.

The EU water law protects our water sources, but governments now want to weaken it. Act NOW: tell the European Commission to keep the law strong!


Agricultural Pollution

To help ensure that the highest possible levels of protection (from agricultural pollution and more) are given to our water and wildlife when we exit the EU, we must first ensure that the right protections are upheld across Europe; as these laws will be largely transferred – certainly, any downgrading or weakening of this protection will be difficult to rectify or recover from. So please, for the sake of our wild fish and our freshwaters, ACT NOW and complete the consultation above.

How is agricultural pollution harming fish and their waters?

  • Manure runoff from intensive livestock farming pollutes groundwater with excessive emissions of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), which chokes rivers and damages the food chain.
  • Diffuse pollution from agriculture (pesticides, fertilisers and other agrochemicals) is a huge threat to the health of the UK’s rivers and fish, accounting for 68% of all in-river excesses.
  • Excessive nitrogen, phosphate and chemicals are present in 37% of surface water bodies.
  • Farming is responsible for over 50% of nitrogen in water and is a significant source of phosphates.
  • This is not all - find out more about the disastrous effects of agricultural pollution on wild fish.

Latest News

375,000+ citizens tell the European Commission “Hands off our water law!”

375,386 people have called on the European Commission to defend Europe’s strong water law, making the EU’s public consultation on the legislation one of the largest ever in the history of the European Union. This law is critical to ensure that Europe’s rivers, lakes and wetlands are protected and brought back to good health. As […] Read More

#ProtectWater campaign success: brilliant news for our waters and fish

First success for #ProtectWater campaign Thanks to an extensive collaborative effort from over 100 NGO’s across Europe, including S&TC, an important first milestone has been achieved in the defence of our water’s environmental protection laws. A paper drafted by a group of government officials, seeking to weaken the laws which currently protect our waters, has […] Read More

S&TC joins 100 NGOs in Europe-wide #ProtectWater campaign

S&TC is one of 100 NGOs[1 ] joining forces across Europe to tackle proposed weakening of EU freshwater protection laws As part of #ProtectWater, we are uniting to launch a campaign calling on the European Commission to defend the law that protects all sources of water, such as rivers, lakes, wetlands and groundwater, during its current […] Read More

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