A man testing water quality using sampling kit

Data and Evidence

Data and evidence are a critical part of integrated catchment management, helping partners to engage a wide audience, agree on the priority issues and solutions, and monitor outcomes.

We bring together the people, knowledge, data and intelligence to help rivers thrive again.

As conservation experts, making data and evidence accessible and relevant is essential to improving river environments. Our highly skilled data team interpret current insights and share intelligence with local groups, member trusts and catchment partnerships; enabling informed action.

We are the custodians of the largest quantity of river and catchment data in the United Kingdom which provides us with a national perspective. This enables MPs, water companies and organisations to see the bigger picture too, and provides facts rather than opinions.

We believe knowledge is power and we champion the importance of healthy rivers through educating others online, at school and through local groups.

Making data accessible


We want to establish strong, transparent, locally effective relationships and will often work as part of the Catchment Based Approach to make as much of our data open to the public as possible.

  • Sewage map – a crucial place for the public and recreational river users to investigate where the nearest known sewage outfall is located and how frequently it spills.

Promoting Citizen Science

We believe that citizen science empowers local communities by making them part of the decision-making process about their local environment.

When planned and coordinated well, local communities can generate high quality and cost-effective evidence, often with greater relevance and higher resolution than statutory or professional monitoring can achieve.

Here at The Rivers Trust, we bring together the people, knowledge, data and intelligence to empower communities to take action and be part of the solution; ensuring rivers thrive in the long run. Here are some of the citizen science programmes we are working on:

  • Catchment Monitoring Co-operative (CMC) - A radical step-change in how citizen science and community monitoring data could be gathered, interpreted and shared, to fill gaps in knowledge and to engage local communities in creating a more balanced water environment.


Building a robust evidence base

  • Natural Flood Management (NFM) tool - This tool has been built to support the monitoring and evaluation requirements for the 79 Defra-funded NFM catchments and community projects.

Mobilising a data-rich community

  • Catchment Data User Group – we set up the Catchment Data User Group (CDUG) in 2012 through the Catchment Based Approach, to coordinate data and evidence sharing between organisations across all sectors. As part of this, the team host an annual Data and Evidence Forum, bringing together over 200 people to learn about the latest developments in catchment monitoring, modelling, data sharing and analysis.
  • Learn about GIS – Although our data experts can provide technical support and training to member Trusts and Catchment Partnerships, the team have also set up these guides to help you get started on GIS.
  • CaBA Working groups and hubs – Our data team provide a substantial amount of support to the CaBA Working Groups and have set up a series of hubs to host thematic information and data, such as Urban Data Hub, to help the groups access and analyse the most up to date, relevant data available.