River Basin Management Planning

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River basin management planning (RBMP) protects and improves Scotland’s water environment for the benefit of people, wildlife and the economy.

Much of the water environment in Scotland is in good condition. However, there are still significant problems affecting water quality, physical condition, water flows and levels, and the migration of wild fish. Invasive non-native species are also damaging aquatic plant and animal communities.

The river basin management plans for Scotland set out a range of actions to address these impacts. They are produced every six years by SEPA on behalf of Scottish Government. They cover actions for all responsible authorities in Scotland. They summarise:

  • the state of the water environment;
  • pressures affecting the quality of the water environment where it is in less than good condition;
  • actions to protect and improve the water environment;
  • a summary of outcomes following implementation.

SEPA is also developing sector plans to support delivery of SEPA’s regulatory strategy – One Planet Prosperity. Several are directly related to the delivery of RBMP objectives.

Latest news

Developing RBMP3

In 2018, we ran consultations about the steps we will take to engage stakeholders in the preparation of the third RBMPs. Respondents were supportive but asked for clarification about the structure this engagement will take. The Engagement Strategy 2019-2021 addresses these queries and sets out how we want to work with you.

We have now published the Significant Water Management Issues for Scotland consultation. The consultation is supported by a report of the condition of the water environment and the progress made towards achieving our improvement targets set for 2021 and 2027. The consultation covers the whole of Scotland, including all of the Scotland River Basin District, and the parts of the Solway Tweed River Basin District that lie in Scotland. Cross border water bodies are covered in the Solway Tweed consultation. This will provide the foundation for the development of the draft third plans in 2020.

The consultations run from 19 December 2019 to 19 June 2020.

The Environment Agency have also launched a consultation seeking your views on the challenges our waters face and the choices we all need to make to improve and protect this vital and precious resource in England: Water Challenges and Choices Consultation.

RBMP data

All of the information for river basin planning can be found in the Water environment hub. It provides information on each waterbody, pressures, measures and the objectives (targets) that we have set.

The latest classification data can be found at the Water classification hub. Please note that if a waterbody has changed classification it may not necessarily change an objective set in the RBMPs

Contact us

For further information, please contact us.