Downstreams is a non-profit social enterprise that uses an online platform to help to build connections between communities along a river.
Downstream communities can be affected by floods, environmental pollution and biodiversity issues from their river. Upstream communities are often the source of these issues, but do not have the capability to create change and improve the situation.
Downstreams' aim is to alleviate these problems by joining individuals and businesses along the river together both socially and financially - to look after their river and protect themselves, just as they are joined together by the water that passes them by.
Downstreams relies on the provision of open data about geography as well as information about risks and impact to communities from flooding, biodiversity loss, pollution and about projects that might partially mitigate them.
Downstreams take a joined up view of the ecosystems around a river, taking nature concerns and flood resilience concerns together when trying to find the best solutions. It's clear to them that the best solutions do not come from professionals who are a long way from the catchment, but from people who live in the area and know the local environment.
Their role is not to deliver solutions, but to explain problems associated with the river in an area and elicit solutions that contribute towards solving these problems. They specifically look for solutions that can prevent the problem rather than mitigating impacts.
Downstreams are a national organisation who facilitate action in local catchments. As such, they are interested in making contact with local organisations and community initiatives that would like to work together - on specific schemes or on a catchment-wide basis.