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We have many years of experience in monitoring and protecting the aquatic environment.

In 2007, the Water Framework Directive (WFD) introduced the need for a broader, more holistic approach to monitoring and classifying Scotland’s aquatic environment.

Its aim is to use data collected to protect and improve water bodies in order that they meet good ecological status, or similar objective.

This monitoring network enables us to identify and resolve problems, thus improving the water environment.

We have three categories of monitoring which have different but complementary purposes: surveillance, operational and investigative. This strategy ensures we are collecting the right information in the right place and allows us to concentrate our effort on the greatest risks to the environment.

For the delivery of the first river basin management plan, we radically overhauled our monitoring network.  Detail on how we did that can be found in the monitoring strategies:

Our monitoring responsibilities also include nitrates monitoring and protected areas.

We share monitoring and analysis work with other partners, including Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Water, British Waterways, Environment Link and Fisheries Research Services, to make sure we are as efficient as possible. As part of the Scottish Government’s Co-ordinated Agenda for Marine, Environment and Rural Affairs Science, we are developing Monitoring Action Plans with partner organisations with the aim of co-ordinating monitoring efforts across Scotland.

For more information about what we monitor and why, please contact us.