Public consultations launched on the challenges for improving Scotland's water environment

date17 January 2014

Two public consultations have been launched by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) to help inform the next stage of Scotland's plans for sustainable management of rivers, lochs, estuaries, coastal waters and groundwater.

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Officially launched in December 2013 on SEPA's website, the six month consultations 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.

The consultations focus on the need for a step change in management approach for four primary issues:

  • Rural diffuse pollution
  • Impacts on the physical condition of the water environment
  • Toxic substances and urban diffuse pollution
  • Contaminated land causing pollution to surface and groundwater

Each consultation is set in the context of a comprehensive 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 of the consultation 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.

David Harley, SEPA's Water and Land Unit Manager, said:

Since publishing the first river basin plans in 2009, significant environmental improvements have been secured. However there are still challenges ahead which need to be addressed to ensure we can progress with protecting and improving all aspects 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."

The Current Condition and Challenges for the Future consultation reports are available online. Stakeholders have until 22 June 2014 to contribute their views on the future management of Scotland's water environment.

Ends

Notes to editors

More information is available on our closed consultations page.