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OS Open Rivers

Understand how water bodies and watercourses in Great Britain join up.

Model simple what-if scenarios. OS Open Rivers lets you answer questions like ‘which rivers would be affected by a toxic discharge from this site?’

For sharing water quality data, this is ideal. OS Open Rivers lets you tag information with the river IDs used by environment agencies so everybody can use it.

Save money and benefit from simple licensing terms. OS Open Rivers is free to view, download and use for commercial, education and personal purposes.

OS Open Rivers

OS Open Rivers

OS Open Rivers GIS data contains over 144,000 km of water bodies and watercourses map data. These include freshwater rivers, tidal estuaries and canals. 

Need more detail?

Need more detail?

If you need more information about watercourses, we recommend OS MasterMap Water Network Layer.


Technical specification
Key FeaturesWhat this product offers
FormatVector Tiles, GeoPackage, GML 3.2, Esri Shape file
Data structureVector points and lines
AttributesWatercourse name; watercourse type; direction of water flow
Scale1:15 000 to 1:30 000
Update frequencyTwice a year – April and October
Supply Download only
CoverageGreat Britain


OS Open Rivers is available under the following licences:

Our open data products are covered by the Open Government Licence (OGL), which allows you to:

  • copy, distribute and transmit the data;
  • adapt the data; and
  • exploit the data commercially, whether by sub-licensing it, combining it with other data, or including it in your own product or application.

We simply ask that you acknowledge the copyright and the source of the data by including the following attribution statement:

  • Contains OS data © Crown copyright and database right 2021
  • Where you use Code-Point Open data, you must also use the following attribution statements:
  • Contains Royal Mail data © Royal Mail copyright and Database right 2021
  • Contains National Statistics data © Crown copyright and database right 2021

View all licences

OS Open Rivers FAQs

Case studies

GIS improves Wiltshire flood management

Wiltshire have combined local knowledge with Ordnance Survey mapping to analyse local flood impacts and risks in Dauntsey Parish.