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

In December 2020, we published the consultations for the Draft River Basin Management Plan 2021-2027. The consultation ran until June 2021 and covered the whole of Scotland, including the Scotland River Basin District and the Scottish part of the Solway Tweed River Basin District. Cross border working arrangements were covered in the Solway Tweed documents. Respondents were supportive of the level of ambition set out in the plan but asked for more detail about how the aims would be delivered. The digests are informing the development of the final plans that are due to be published in December 2021.

The Draft River Basin Management Plan for Scotland 2021-2027
Digest of responses
A consultation on the draft River basin Management Plan for the Solway tweed River Basin District: 2021 Update
Digest of Consultation responses

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.