Attribution of trends in streamflow is complex, but essential, in identifying optimal management options for water resources. Disagreement remains on the relative role of climate change and human factors, including water abstractions and land cover change, in driving change in annual streamflow. We construct a very dense network of gauging stations (n = 1,874) from Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and Portugal for the period of 1961-2012 to detect and then attribute changes in annual streamflow. Using regression‐based techniques, we show that climate (precipitation and atmospheric evaporative demand) explains many of the observed trends in northwest Europe, while for southwest Europe human disturbances better explain both temporal and spatial trends. For the latter, large increases in irrigated areas, agricultural intensification, and natural revegetation of marginal lands are inferred to be the dominant drivers of decreases in streamflow.