The regulatory landscape for reservoir safety in Scotland is
Reservoir safety in Scotland is currently regulated under the
Act 1975 by local authorities which requires reservoir
operators to register their reservoirs with their local
authority.This will continue until approximately 2016.
Once registered, the reservoir operator must ensure they employ
an appropriate engineer to undertake the necessary monitoring and
inspection to ensure the continued structural integrity of their
Under the 1975 Act all reservoirs receive the same level of
monitoring and inspection regardless of the consequences of an
uncontrolled release of water from the reservoir.
To modernise the regulation of reservoir safety and introduce a
proportionate regulatory regime based on the consequences of an
uncontrolled release of water the Scottish Government introduced
(Scotland) Act 2011.
The 2011 Act is being implemented through a phased approach and
will introduce a number of key changes and benefits to the
- SEPA will become the national enforcement and regulatory body,
providing greater consistency for the industry.
- Risk designations based on the consequences of an uncontrolled
release of water will be assigned to each reservoir.
- Different levels of statutory monitoring and inspection by
engineers based on the risk designation, with low sites having less
regulation than higher risk sites.
- A public register will be held which will include a reservoir
inundation map for each registered reservoir showing the area of
land likely to be flooded in the event of an uncontrolled release
- When the 2011 Act is fully implemented, the threshold for
registration will reduce from 25,000 cubic metres to just 10,000
cubic metres capacity, bringing smaller and reservoirs under
regulation and providing a more comprehensive regulatory
- The Reservoir Manager or owner, referred to as the Undertaker
in the 1975 Act, has a wider definition in the 2011 Act to include
those that lease or use the water.
We are working with the reservoir industry and representative
bodies to establish a regulatory regime which is fit for purpose
and understood by those who will use it. Until the 2011 Act is
fully implemented you should contact your local authority about
Four briefing notes, a glossary document and a FAQ document have
been developed which detail the key changes being introduced and
offer further information on how the 2011 Act will be
We will help to support the reservoir industry through a suite
of guidance documents which will inform and provide good practice
on how to fulfil the reguirements of the new legislation.
For enquires relating to the 2011 Act please contact firstname.lastname@example.org