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The charity making life better by water

Urban canal winds between blocks of flats on a sunny day, with skyscrapers in the distance.

Green and blue futures

Our canals and rivers are nationally important infrastructure, helping to mitigate the effects of climate change and support energy and water security.

Culture and environment

Providing innovative solutions to climate hazards

We're using our network to support decarbonisation and mitigate climate threats.


people protected

from flooding by our canal and river embankments


tonnes of CO2

saved by the hydroelectric plant at the sluices on the River Weaver at Dutton

Our network supplies enough water for approximately five million people while keeping urban areas cool and protecting our homes and businesses from flooding. Its value is estimated at £42 billion.

Natural disasters, extreme weather events, failure to adapt to climate change, biodiversity loss, and ecosystem collapse are among the top global risks, with significant consequences for people and nature. Climate threats are likely to become more prevalent.

As a ready-made blue-green infrastructure, canals can contribute to the fight against climate change by:

  • balancing water availability through water transfers, saving cost and carbon
  • generating hydropower for around 6,200 homes, saving around 9,500 tonnes of CO₂
  • moving freight off roads to our larger commercial waterways
  • heating and cooling around 350,000 homes, saving over one million tonnes of CO₂ per year
  • supplying water to five million homes
  • providing flooding relief and water storage
  • providing vital green corridors for nature
  • providing active travel routes for walking and cycling

Our impact on green and blue futures

Kingfisher in flight with small fish in its beak

Support our work

We need your support to keep canals and rivers alive. Donate today to make a difference

Explore more about our work and impact

Last Edited: 01 March 2024

photo of a location on the canals
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