Scotland to develop new water management policies

The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) is seeking views on how best to implement the European Water Framework Directive, following the publication of a report into the future of the nation’s waters.


The Directive introduces key changes to the way in which the water environment must be managed, namely the production of broader ecological objectives designed to protect and, where necessary, restore the structure and function of aquatic ecosystems, preserving the sustainable use of water systems.

This change has significant implications for Scotland, requiring appropriate controls on the wide range of pressures on aquatic ecosystems, says SEPA. At the beginning of the year, the Scottish Executive consulted on legislative proposals for establishing new controls on activities such as surface and groundwater abstraction, impoundment of surface waters, engineering works on surface waters and the causes of diffuse pollution.

A second key change that will be brought about by the Water Framework Directive is the introduction of a river basin management planning system. This will be designed to integrate the management of groundwater, rivers, canals, lochs, reservoirs, estuaries and other brackish waters, coastal waters and the water needs of terrestrial ecosystems such as wetlands.

Responses to the consultation should be sent by 23 August.

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