What's it all about?

Rivers, lakes, wetlands and beaches form a complex water system. Our wellbeing depends on this system. And so too does the wellbeing of our wildlife. But today, less than a quarter of our water systems are classified as healthy.

There are many causes: pollution, habitat destruction, and too much water being drawn out for homes and businesses. This means there are fewer places for us to fish and explore; fewer places for birds and water voles to thrive; and our homes are affected too, as the quality of our water environment affects drinking water, sanitation and flood management.

From October 2014 to 10 April 2015, the Environment Agency asked you to comment on plans that will determine how our waters are managed for the next six years. We believe Government needs to be ambitious when the final plans are published to ensure that our water bodies have a chance to recover and can be enjoyed by people and nature for generations to come.

The consultation is now closed. Thank you to everyone who responded. More than 900 of you have taken action and added your voice.

Read the Blueprint for Water response to the consultation

Read the response

Water voles have declined by more than 90% since the 1980's

Three quarters of rivers in England and Wales are considered to be unhealthy

57% of freshwater and wetland species have declined

We take 3 billion more litres of water each day than the environment can cope with.

Atlantic salmon have declined by 40% in England since the 1970’s

What happens now?

Each response received through the Save Our Waters site has been sent directly to the Environment Agency, who will:

  • Collate and analyse each response
  • Identify emerging themes and issues to feed into the updates to the River Basin Management Plans
  • Ensure the local issues raised by respondents are sent to Catchment Coordinators to be dealt with locally


October – April: River Basin Management Plan consultation

May: General election

June – November: Updates to draft plans following consultation

December 2015: Final plans published

Read our response »

How you can help

The Environment Agency's consultation closed on 10 April, which means that responses can no longer be submitted. Thank you to everyone who responded via Save Our Waters - the EA has now analysed the results.

 View the Save Our Waters responses

Here's how you can continue to support the campaign and help Save Our Waters

Talk to your MP

We want to make sure that the health of our rivers, lakes and wetlands remains high on the political agenda. The consultation on the draft River Basin Management Plans may be closed but now is the time to act before the final plans are published at the end of the year.

We have created an easy to use toolkit so that you can help continue to shout about this issue and make sure we are heard! The idea is for people all over the country to let their local MP know about the issues the river, stream or other wetland in their constituency is facing so this message can be passed to the Secretary of State.

The toolkit includes:

  • Helpful information about our water bodies
  • Ways you can get involved: Write to your MP; Attend a constituency surgery; Organise a trip to your local river or lake
  • Template letter to send to your MP
  • Tips for contacting your MP

Download and share the toolkit today and help to Save Our Waters.

 Download toolkit


Do you want to be more involved in improving the waters you care about?

Our organisations can only achieve change with your help. Find out how you can get involved with our organisations in your area – check out the volunteer pages on our websites or find the catchment partnership in your area.

Share our Infographic

It is still as important as ever that we make sure everyone knows about the need to Save Our Waters. You can share a link to this website or download a copy of the infographic to post on social networks.

 Share now    Download

Note: If you have an old browser (or Internet Explorer) the Download button may not work. You can right-click the infographic and choose "Save image as..."

Take our poll

How many of our rivers, lakes, ponds and estuaries should be healthy? Have your say...

 Take our poll

Tweet #SaveOurWaters

Love your river? Passionate about ponds? Want to make sure that the wet places and the wild things that live there are protected? Then help us spread the word.

Tweet a photo of your favourite watery place.