Independent not-for-profit investigative journalism in the public interest

WATERSHED partners with national and international media to run high impact articles and investigations focusing on all aspects of the water crisis: pollution, resources, over-abstraction, wildlife, public health, environmental justice, and the impacts of climate change

The scale of PFAS ‘forever chemical’ pollution

The Guardian, The Guardian, The Guardian, The Guardian, The Guardian, The Guardian, The Guardian

A major investigation focused on widespread pollution by ‘forever chemicals’ called PFAS. It launched on the front page of the Guardian and involved seven stories over three days.

Rivers at risk if summer drought strikes

The Times

England faces an ecological disaster if a severe drought strikes, with water companies turning to rivers to avoid drinking water shortages. Analysis of water companies' plans reveals huge shortfall in the case of severe drought if no action is taken.

Sewage spills blamed as E coli forces Cornish shellfish sites to close

Guardian, ITV News

Watershed worked with the Guardian and ITV News to expose high levels of E coli in oysters around the country. “Very high” levels of E coli found in oysters and mussels have led to the closure of 11 shellfish production zones in Cornwall.

Firm releases almost 800kg of ‘forever chemical’ a year into Lancashire river


Exclusive: A chemicals company is releasing large quantities of a PFAS “forever chemical” described as being “very persistent, mobile and toxic” into the River Wyre in Lancashire each year, and is not breaking any rules. 

‘Concerning’ levels of forever chemicals found in UK fish

Daily Mail, Independent, Evening Standard, Daily Express, Yahoo News, Irish News, ENDS Report, Belfast Telegraph, Hull Daily Mail

Data obtained by Watershed Investigations shows PFAS 'forever chemicals' in England’s wild fish at high levels.

PFAS pollution in drinking water and rivers

Sky News

Watershed Investigations takes to the Thames for Sky News' Climate Show to talk about their investigations into PFAS pollution in drinking water, rivers, sediments and fish.

Water missing from climate planning despite threat to billions

Independent, Evening Standard

Water is being overlooked in climate planning and funding, experts have said, despite half the world’s population facing acute water stress by 2030. The UN Secretary-General said “vampiric overuse” and pollution are draining the “precious lifeblood” while climate change is “wreaking havoc”.

Pan-European forever pollution project

Forever Pollution Project

More than 17 000 sites all over Europe are contaminated by the 'forever chemicals' PFAS, an exclusive, months-long investigation from 18 European newsrooms. Watershed sourced multiple datasets and performed its own sampling to build up the UK picture.

UK ministers under pressure to tighten laws on ‘forever chemicals’ in drinking water


Pressure is building on UK ministers to tighten regulations on PFAS “forever chemicals” as Watershed's research shows vast numbers of people are drinking water with levels that would be banned in the US.

Forever chemicals in drinking water

The Guardian, BBC Radio 4, The BBC, The Guardian

Water from a supply containing high levels of toxic chemicals was pumped into the homes of more than 1,000 people. Cambridge Water admitted it removed a supply containing four times the regulatory limit of perfluorooctane sulphonate (PFOS), which was being blended with other supplies to provide water to the homes of customers in south Cambridgeshire.

What you need to know about PFAS

Internazionale Magazine

Internazionale Magazine, the global current affairs weekly, picks up Watershed's PFAS work from the Forever Pollution Project. The article look at the most common sources of exposure to the potential consequences for human health and the environment.

Sewage dumping in British rivers

The Guardian, The ENDS Report, BBC London, BBC London, The Guardian

Untreated sewage was dumped into England's rivers at least 372,544 times in 2021. Exposes of key elements of the sewage scandal, such as how the Environment Agency knew raw sewage was being illegally dumped into rivers, lakes and seas a decade ago.

Evidence bolsters family’s claim that hydrogen cyanide from a landfill killed their son

BBC London, The ENDS Report

A family that has been fighting for seven years to prove that hydrogen cyanide from a landfill killed their son received a boost when incident logs from Public Health England apparently backing their claims were uncovered, prompting a local council to commit to taking a fresh look at the land surrounding the family’s home.

Is the UK absent from the fight against PFAS pollution?

ENDS Report, ENDS Report

Watershed looks at PFAS pollution and why the UK is lagging behind the EU and the US in tackling the problem

Subscribe to the WATERSHED newsletter to hear about new and upcoming investigations


The work of WATERSHED journalists has been published in:

Documentaries by WATERSHED journalists

Thirst for Justice

Bloomberg Quicktake, IMDb, Bullfrog Films, BBC World Service , FOX10 , The Brockovich Report, Raindance Film Festival, The Ecologist, Rotton Tomatoes, British Council, Film Fatales, Mlive , Deadline, We are moving stories

Armed only with facts and their illnesses, extraordinary citizens take on industry and government, risking arrest to protect clean water. From Flint to the Navajo Nation, via Standing Rock, this is their story.

SEVERN: The poisoning of Britain’s Amazon

ENDS Report

In ENDS Report’s film 'SEVERN: The poisoning of Britain’s Amazon', Environment Agency whistleblowers, experts and people who live by and work with the river give their testimonies as to how the river has been allowed to deteriorate and the dire consequences for people and wildlife.

What we do

This is a watershed moment. Rivers, lakes, aquifers, wetlands, coasts, oceans and the wildlife they support are under threat from climate change, pollution and misuse. Drought, flood and sea-level rise makes swathes of land uninhabitable or unproductive. Two-thirds of the global population live in water-stressed areas. Water scarcity leads to conflict. Dirty water leads to dead zones and disease. And yet media coverage of these issues is light when compared with others.

That’s where WATERSHED comes in. Our independent, not-for-profit, investigative journalism shines a light on the water crisis in its many forms, using in-depth, rigorous, evidence-based stories hold the powerful to account, uncover abuses, tell overlooked stories, and champion solutions.

More about WATERSHED

Help fund us

You can help us do more of this work by donating to WATERSHED. We use Gift Aid to help maximise whatever amount you’re able to donate.

Support our work

Watershed - Investigative Journalism