Smarter Water Catchment

The River Chess is one of six rivers chosen by Thames Water to pilot their new Smarter Water Catchment initiative.

This ground-breaking initiative brings together key organisations and community groups to address issues on a catchment scale and aims to restore one of the Chilterns’ finest chalk streams to health. The Chilterns Chalk Streams project is a key partner in this initiative.

Chilterns ANOB

Landscape-scale solutions

The project is looking to taking a ‘systems-based’ view of the environment, addressing multiple challenges and delivering landscape-scale solutions that make the most of bigger opportunities to aid nature’s recovery. The work is being led by stakeholders to make sure it reflects local needs and considers local knowledge. Over 10 years, the project’s steering group will be looking at six specific themes:

  1. Improving water quality
  2. Managing flow
  3. Improving wildlife corridors
  4. Managing Invasive Non-Native Species
  5. Working together
  6. Involving people
River Chess Smarter Water Catchment Plan


This initiative is being funded by Thames Water and delivered by a mix of partners from statutory agencies, non-governmental organisations, water companies and academic institutions – all with an interest in the welfare of the Chess: Affinity Water, Buckinghamshire Council, Chilterns Chalk Streams Project,Chilterns National Landscape, Chiltern Society, Environment Agency, Hertfordshire & Middlesex Wildlife Trust, Queen Mary University of London, River Chess Association, Sarratt Parish Council, and Thames Water.