Our vision

A clean and flourishing environment in and around our waters – for now and for future generations.

Our aim

To empower the rowing community across Britain to work together to learn, share and develop robust, sustainable practices to protect the sport we love and our planet.

Read Our Strategic Plan

Clean river

Our 6 objectives

Help Our Waters Thrive

British Rowing will work in collaboration to restore access to clean water.

Reduce Our Carbon Footprint

We will audit and measure our CO2e footprint – and make plans to reduce it.

Embed Sustainable Practice into our Operations

British Rowing will implement ways of working with sustainability at their core.

Be Agile

British Rowing will think forwards and laterally to mitigate and protect our sport against climate change.

Learn, Educate and Facilitate

British Rowing will learn as a sport and in turn help our members learn.

Inspire and Celebrate

We will motivate British Rowing staff and members to ‘do the right thing’, and  to celebrate their success.

Environmental Sustainability Strategy

Case studies and resources for clubs

Club energy usage - on and off the water

Reducing and decarbonising your energy use is good for air quality and it can help your energy bills too.

Making light work of your club’s energy bills

Renewable energy at rowing clubs: Case studies

Tell us what your club is doing

PV panels at Molesey BC

Guidance on rowing when water quality is poor

  • Mitigations to take when water quality is poor.
  • What to do if you become sick.
  • How various club roles should respond to poor water quality.
Download the guidance

Storm discharge maps

Event Duration Monitoring (EDM) maps show, largely, when your local water company is discharging combined sewer overflows into a watercourse.

Check your local EDM Map

Water company Map link
Anglian Water EDM Map
Northumbrian Water EDM Map
Severn Trent Water EDM Map
Southern Water Map not yet available
South West Water Map not yet available
Thames Water EDM Map Sewage Map
United Utilities (North east England) EDM Map
Welsh Water (Dwr Cymru) EDM Map
Wessex Water EDM Map
Yorkshire Water EDM Map
Water company:
Anglian Water
Map link:
Water company:
Northumbrian Water
Map link:
Water company:
Severn Trent Water
Map link:
Water company:
Southern Water
Map link:
Map not yet available
Water company:
South West Water
Map link:
Map not yet available
Water company:
Thames Water
Map link:
EDM Map Sewage Map
Water company:
United Utilities (North east England)
Map link:
Water company:
Welsh Water (Dwr Cymru)
Map link:
Water company:
Wessex Water
Map link:
Water company:
Yorkshire Water
Map link:

Invasive species guidance

Download this handy leaflet containing photos to help you identify the main non-native, invasive species found on our waterways as well as quick notes on how you can help.

Download the ID Guide
Floating pennywort

5 things clubs can do now

  1. Use buckets of water (without detergents) not hose pipes for cleaning boats.
  2. E-mail your local MP asking them about their policy on clean water. This takes just 2 minutes and you can get a pre-written letter here.
  3. Take shorter showers after training (many water companies provide free shower timers to help you do this – search for ‘free shower timer’).
  4. Stop and pick up litter in the water during training, when practical, or on land around your boathouse.
  5. Create ‘bee cafe’ if you have a spare corner of land where you can grow pollinatr-friendly plants.

For more environmental sustainability ideas for your club, check out Section 4.6 (P82) in our Club Management Guide.

Beach Clean

Thriving Waters Scheme

The Thriving Waters Scheme is designed to help affiliated clubs and organisations keep their local stretch of water thriving and accessible for the long term.

Clubs are invited to submit projects that will help their local stretch of water thrive, through water testing, litter clean-ups or action on invasive species.

The deadline for submissions to the British Rowing Thriving Waters Scheme 2024 is midnight on 1 September 2024.

Find out more and apply

British Rowing Thriving Waters Scheme

5 things competitions can do now

  1. Actively encourage trailer sharing and car-pooling/use of public transport by providing information about trains/buses. Would train travel be feasible if there were a shuttle from the station?
  2. Ensure that all non-electrically powered launches (including externally supplied safety boats) carry spill kits in case of fuel spills.
  3. Provide places where people can refill their water bottles – and information about where these are!
  4. Encourage competitors and spectators to bring reusable water bottles and a re-usable cup for teas and coffees.
  5. Sustainable sourcing: ask suppliers where medals, volunteer clothing and any merchandise you might be selling comes from and how these are produced. Consider the onward journey: can the item be re-used or recycled, or will it end up in landfill?
Lift sharing on the way to a regatta


River Action

RIver Action logoRiver Action is a UK-based environmental charity committed to addressing the severe problem of river pollution, particularly that caused by agricultural and food industry practices, and sewage discharge by water companies.
We find creative and innovative ways of unlocking action and delivering impact on the ground.

Find out more

The Rivers Trust

The Rivers Trust logo

The Rivers Trust is an umbrella organisation for 65 member Rivers Trusts across Britain, Northern Ireland and Ireland.

Rivers shape our land­scapes and pro­vide the foun­da­tions of our cities, towns and coun­try­side. When they thrive, so do we.

Find out more

Delphis Eco

Delphis Eco logoWinner of the Queens Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development in 2022, Delphis Eco is the leading manufacturer of professional cleaning products created in Britain.

Its award-winning, ecological cleaning range is made from renewable, plant-based ingredients and the entire range is packaged in the UK’s first 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles, reducing carbon by 61% compared to using virgin plastic.

Find out more

Partner logos

Clean Water Sports Alliance

British Rowing and six other national governing bodies of water-based sports have has united over the issue of water pollution, setting the vision to achieve healthy and nature rich blue spaces across the UK for everyone to enjoy water sports.

Find out more

The Clean Water Sports Alliance will work together to influence decision makers and drive positive change, working collaboratively to highlight issues and create solutions to help return the UK’s blue spaces to be where nature can thrive and sport and recreation can be enjoyed.

The Alliance's 3 priorities

The Alliance has set out three priorities that will inform its actions:

  • Further and faster action on pollution. Improving the health of UK waters by 2030
  • Enable people to make real-time informed choices about where and when to participate in water-based sports and activities
  • Recognition of all recreational water users across decision making and policy.

3 asks of regulators and decision makers

Aligned to its own priorities, the Alliance is making three asks of regulators and decision makers:

  • Regulators to be adequately funded to monitor, investigate and hold polluters to account, harnessing nature-based solutions
  • Enable accurate access to real-time water quality information all year round including the compulsory monitoring of all sewage outlets; recognition of open source science relating to water quality and the creation of a centralised information hub for all water sports users
  • Advocate a change from ‘bathing waters’ to ‘recreation waters’ within government policy to recognise the wide range of activities that depend on clean water.

clean water sports alliance graphic with logos of 7 national governing bodies for sport

Support from the GB Rowing Team

GB Rowing Team athletes tested water quality at the National Training Centre in Caversham, near Reading as part of the launch for our Environmental Sustainability Strategy.

GB Rowing Team logo