Public asked for help to tackle water quality

More than half of North East Scotland's waters have failed to reach 'good' status, according to figures from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

SEPA revealed that 44% of waters in the region are rated as being in a ‘good’ condition or better according to EU standards.

The figures were revealed as the agency published its draft Area Management Plan for North East Scotland, and appealed to people in the region to help to improve water quality.

SEPA said it was vital to improve water quality, as the region is important for tourism, businesses such as commercial forestry and agriculture, and recreational pursuits such as fishing and deer stalking.

Colin Gray, SEPA’s area manager and chair of the North East Scotland Area Advisory Group, said: “Speyside is internationally renowned for its distilling industry and a healthy water environment is important for this and many other industries.

“The harbours located in the North East are fundamental to the economic wellbeing of the country.”

Organisations such as the National Farmers Union for Scotland, Scottish Water and Scottish Natural Heritage have worked with SEPA to draw up the draft plan, which has now been published for a six-month public consultation.

Mr Gray added: “The draft Area Management Plan builds on past improvements in water quality using new tools to assess the quality of the water environment by including chemical composition and the types of plants and animals present.

“This means we must consider such aspects as physical changes to the water environment, removal of water for purposes such as power generation, public water supply, and barriers to fish migration.”

The consultation documents can be found here.

Kate Martin

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