Chess Smarter Water Catchment Project

Water quality – We’re all part of the solution

River Chess Smarter Water Catchment is a pilot project to help protect and enhance the River Chess for the future through better water management and usage throughout the Chess catchment area. Our Smarter Water Catchment initiative looks at the environment as a ‘system’ and sees us working together in partnership with others in the region to make bigger and better improvements than we could ever make as individual groups and organisations, where the sum is greater than the total of the parts.

Everyone can help in terms of water reduction, re-use and recycling. These small changes by enough people will ultimately tip the balance towards a more sustainable and resilient future for water – particularly with the expected increase in demand and other stresses.

With a change of habit and through good stewardship we can collectively build a greener and more sustainable environment for future generations, as well as protect and conserve the unique ecology of this rare chalk stream.

To learn more about the Chilterns Chalk Stream Project, please visit their website (opens a new window).

For further information about this project, email Tracey Read, Chess Smarter Catchment Project.

Pledge to help save our chalk streams

We’re on a mission to get everyone to do their bit to improve our local chalk streams. Typically, if you live in the Chilterns you’re using 165 litres every day. To keep our chalk streams healthy we need to get that down to around 110 litres. That assumes the water companies do their bit, by fixing leaks and not diverting water from other areas, and the Government balances housing developments with capacity for both water suppliers and sewage processing.

In the Chilterns neither farming nor industry are big users, but as a partnership we’re working with those sectors to reduce their impacts as well. There are a number of areas where you can also make a difference, and by reducing your water consumption, your water, electric and gas bills are highly likely to come down too!

Ready to make a commitment? Please pledge (see below).

Our local water companies, Thames Water and Affinity Water offer some simple tips to help you save water. Follow the links above to find out more (each opens a new browser window).

Ready to make a commitment?

Changing our daily water habits can save water and money, and help to protect and conserve our beautiful River Chess.

River Chess Community Grants

Up to £5,000 will be available soon. Do you qualify?

Are you a community group working somewhere in the Chess catchment looking to do something to help the River Chess, or reduce how much water is being used? If so, you may be eligible for one of our Community Grants.  Round 3 for grant applications will be open again in early May 2024.

Community Grant Success Stories

Read about some of the completed projects and success stories made possible by the River Chess Community Grants.

Chess Smarter Water Catchment walks and resources

The conservation of the River Chess is at the heart of our project. Please use the button below to find FREE leaflets (PDFs) detailing walks in and around the Chess Valley, and resources that highlight the water conservation measures that we can all do to help sustain the river’s health.

Other ways to help

Volunteering with us

Subscribing to our eNews

Becoming a member

How do we make a difference to the Chilterns?

Chiltern Society Bottom Wood is an ancient woodland dating back to before 1600 and is home to over 700 different species of plants and animals