Citizen Juries

Organisation: Environment Agency

Location: National

Rethinking Water Citizens’ Juries

The Environment Agency and its partners are holding a number of  Rethinking Water Citizens’ Juries to discuss the important question:

  • How do you connect with water in your local environment, and what needs to be changed in the future to benefit people and wildlife?

What is a citizens’ jury/panel?                  

A citizens’ jury is a way to make decisions. It is used all over the world to look at issues and come up with ideas. It brings together a randomly selected group of people who broadly represent the entire community. The people who attend learn about an issue, discuss them with one another, and then make recommendations about what should happen.

Why is this event happening?

The five citizens’ juries brought together a diverse range of people who live, work or play in and around the Tidal River Thames, Lake Windermere, River Ouseburn, River Wharfe and the River Thames. To hear evidence, discuss the issues together, and recommend how we all should best respond to the opportunities and challenges posed by a growing population and a changing climate. Their recommendations have been presented to our Environment Agency board, and will inform the Environment Agency’s developing future ambition for water management locally and nationally.

The citizens’ juries took place online (using Zoom):

  • Windermere Citizens’ Panel on Rethinking Water – 22nd March – 27th March 2022
  • Tidal River Thames Citizens’ Jury on Rethinking Water – 3rd March 2022 – 19th March 2022
  • The River Wharfe Citizens’ Jury on Rethinking Water – 25th February – 6th March 2021
  • The River Thames Citizens’ Jury on Rethinking Water – 18th March – 27th March 2021
  • North East Citizens’ Jury on Rethinking Water – Ouseburn – January 21st – January 30th 2021

For more information on these Citizens’ Juries please go to Rethinking Water Citizens’ Juries overview information page or contact the Environment Agency to find out more: Toni Scarr

Charity Partners


The Involve Foundation (‘Involve’) is the UK’s leading public participation charity with offices in London, Edinburgh, and Belfast. They work towards creating a more vibrant democracy, with people at the heart of decision-making. Involve’s mission is to develop, deliver and campaign for new ways of involving people in the decisions that affect their lives. Since the organisation was founded in 2003, they have worked with governments, parliaments, civil society organisations, academics and the public across the UK and internationally to put people at the heart of decision-making.

Involve will be leading on the design and delivery of the Rethinking Water Citizens’ Juries and will act as the main point of contact for jury members throughout the process.

For more information on Involve, please visit their website at:

The Sortition Foundation

The Sortition Foundation is a not-for-profit company that promotes the use of citizens’ assemblies and citizens’ juries in decision-making, and specialises in recruiting random and representative samples of people for these events. Our aim is to ensure that the recruitment method used for citizens’ assemblies and citizens’ juries is as transparent and as legitimate as possible, and that we get as close as we can to the ideal of every person in a community having an equal probability of receiving an invitation to take part, and that the final selection of the assembly participants is as fair as possible.

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