Launched today, the consultation contains proposals on how the agencies responsible for protecting and enhancing the Scottish water environment, and the industries that rely on the water environment for economic prosperity, can work together.

Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “Water is one of Scotland’s most abundant natural resources. It is hugely important to the success of many of our iconic products and industries and makes a valuable contribution to the quality of life in Scotland.

“That is why we must continue to do all we can to protect our water environment. This draft plan will further improve and enhance the condition of Scotland’s water environment. The work carried out in the pilot catchments will also give opportunity to demonstrate the benefits for society and the environment, and also help to reduce flood risk and protect natural habitats. That is great news for the people of Scotland and the industries that rely on the water environment for economic prosperity.”

The consultation document covers key issues which affect the physical condition of Scotland’s water environment, including improving the condition of rivers and lochs, estuaries and coasts, restoration and flood risk management.

SEPA chairman, David Sigsworth, said: “Around a quarter of Scotland’s rivers, lochs and burns are affected by physical changes such as culverting, engineered banks and shores, fish barriers and straightened channels. These changes have important impacts on erosion, sediment build up, the flow of water and wildlife”.

Leigh Stringer

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