The River Thames Initiative

The purpose of the River Thames Initiative is to study how England's largest river functions under growing pressures from rapid population growth, intensive agriculture, climate change and water resource challenges. River quality in the Thames basin, including its tributaries, ranges from good in its rural upper reaches to poor as it passes through urban centres housing a fifth of the UK population. The lower Thames is heavily impacted by sewage and other pollution. The River Thames Initiative enables chemical and biological monitoring throughout the basin to provide data that is used for research and river management involving water quality and pollution from agricultural run-off and wastewater sewage (including nutrients, dissolved metals, pharmaceuticals and nanoparticles). It also provides an experimental test-bed or 'living laboratory' for: trials of natural flood management and flood relief schemes; and for technological innovation and testing of in-situ water quality analysers.
Catchment map