A report by the World Wide Fund for Nature warns over half of chalk streams and a quarter of rivers are under threat if action isn't taken.
At the River Chess in Buckinghamshire there's no water flowing.
The riverbed is dry, with cracked mud and weeds where the stream once ran.
Chairman of the River Chess Association Paul Jennings said: "This would be knee-depth crystal clear water that's come out of the chalk aquifer, with lovely fronds of weed. You have ducks and swans and all sorts of livestock in here plus fish. But we don't have that now."
It's been dried up since October, and it's not uncommon here.
"Over the last six years we've had four drying events, where there's been absolutely no water at all in this section," Mr Jennings said.
The problem is, when rivers dry up, the wildlife leaves. The River Chess is home to kingfishers, rare water voles and several species of fish.
The WWF warns 550 bodies of water in England and Wales are at risk of drying out.
Its report says over-abstraction and poor management are to blame.
Put simply, consumers and agriculture are taking out too much water from our rivers. More