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NERC Freshwater Quality Programme

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) have appointed Professor Joseph Holden and Professor Pippa Chapman as Freshwater Quality Champions and leaders of this new programme that will study water quality of UK rivers.

The four year NERC programme, titled ‘Understanding changes in quality of UK freshwaters’, aims to:

  • investigate how pollutants enter, leave and interact with rivers and supporting ecosystems
  • determine how the movement of pollutants will be modified with changes in the water cycle
  • create better tools to monitor and measure pollution.

The programme will oversee five different research projects, each focusing on a different aspect of water quality. Each project will be interdisciplinary and bring together a range of experts needed to deliver the integrated and cross sectional research required.

Monthly Webinar Series

Join a monthly series of webinars on a range of related topics organised by the Champions Team, which are designed to help promote communications and interactions between researchers, the policy community, business and practitioners who can all shape future UK freshwater quality. See Events below for more information on the speakers.

Each webinar includes a 30 minute presentation with time for questions afterwards. The presentations are recorded  -  watch the up-to-date playlist here.

This short film provides an introduction to the aims of the programme:

Research Projects


Find out more about the five UK-wide research projects, each focusing on different aspects of water quality

Upcoming events

UK Freshwater Quality Programme Webinar - LTLS-FE Project Update

Dr Vicky Bell, Dr Stephen Lofts and the project team working on Long-Term Large-Scale Freshwater Ecosystems (LTLS-FE) will present their...

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UK Freshwater Quality Programme News

The UK Freshwater Quality Programme Spring newsletter is now published. The Freshwater Quality Programme Spring 2024 newsletter, has been produced...

New research will help to secure the future of our rivers

Helping to improve our understanding of the changing nature of the quality of the water in our rivers is Professor...

Managing Our Most Precious Resource

Professor Andrew Tyler, University of Stirling leads the MOT4Rivers research project which is part of the UK Freshwater Quality Programme....

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Previous events

See our past events and project presentations