Scotland issues formal consultations on sustainable water management

Two public consultations have been launched to help inform the next stage of Scotland's plans for sustainable management of rivers, lochs, estuaries, coastal waters and groundwater.

The six-month consultations, issued by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), will focus on a number of issues such as impacts on the physical condition of the water environment, contaminated land causing pollution to surface and groundwater and rural diffuse pollution.

They are aimed at local authorities, stakeholder groups and water users to help protect and improve the quality of the water environment within the Scotland and Solway Tweed, River Basin districts.

Each consultation is set in the context of a report which provides an update on the progress to date in achieving the targets for the water environment set out in the 2009 River Basin Management Plans.

The results will inform the next round of River Basin Management Plans due to be published in 2015. These will describe the actions needed to further protect and improve the quality of the water environment and prevent deterioration.

In launching the consultations, SEPA’s water & land unit manager David Harley said that there were “challenges ahead” which need to be addressed to ensure ongoing protecting and improvement of the water environment.

“The consultation provides an opportunity for both relevant authorities and frequent water users to influence the development of new and innovative approaches to the challenges facing our water environment,” he commented.

Stakeholders have until June 22 to contribute their views.

Maxine Perella

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