Thames WaterBlitz

Autumn 2020

25-28 September

Thank you to everyone who took part in the tenth Thames WaterBlitz. Click below to read the results of our biggest ever Thames Valley event!

WaterBlitz Report

The Thames WaterBlitz is a four-day event run by Earthwatch, designed to help us find out more about the water quality in the Thames Valley. We believe that we cannot truly understand what is going on in our rivers without collecting evidence that demonstrates how healthy (or unhealthy) they really are.

Most of our natural waters in the UK are suffering from pollution and other human impacts. We use data collected by you during the WaterBlitz to identify clean waters, to pinpoint pollution hotspots, and to help inform where, who, when and how remedial actions should be taken. We could never collect this much information by ourselves, so we ask you to help us. This was our tenth WaterBlitz in the Thames Valley, and we are starting to build a real understanding of what’s happening across the region. Having repeated measurements is vital to provide robust, scientific evidence, which can be used to make real changes.

This year, our WaterBlitz was supported by the Riverfly Partnership and MoRPh. Their trained networks of river monitors helped to collect data on the insects that live in our waterways and the habitats they live in at exactly the same time as we conducted our survey. This allowed us to see in more detail the impacts that pollution, drought, and land use change might be having on our wildlife.


Download the WaterBlitz Report for a full scientific analysis of the data collected, including data submitted by FreshWater Watch volunteers, Riverfly monitors, and MoRPh surveyors. We have also partnered with the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology to publish an interactive map allowing the direct comparison between WaterBlitz data and Environment Agency monitoring data. This map, along with relevant findings, will be shared with the Environment Agency, who will incorporate the research into their decision-making process.

Image credit: John Hunt