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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 resources, and the migration of wild fish.

The River Basin Management Plans for Scotland set out a range of actions to address these impacts. They are produced by SEPA on behalf of Scottish Government. They cover actions for public bodies, industry and land managers 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.

River basin planning focusses on reducing resource use, eliminating waste and restoration of natural capital. Using a whole systems approach it supports the delivery of Our Approach to Regulation and Scotland’s wider efforts to tackle the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis.

Developing RBMP

In December 2020, we published the consultations for the draft River Basin Management Plan for Scotland 2021-2027. Respondents were supportive of the proposals and comments informed the development of the final plans published below:

The pandemic has seen a shift in public appreciation of their local water environment and there has been a significant increase in outdoor swimming. This has raised concerns over the impact of sewer spills on the water environment. As part of the actions set out in the River Basin Management Plans, Scottish Water has published a route map for improving urban waters, setting out the steps that it will take with other partners to reduce impacts from combined sewer overflows.

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 system has been designed to be user friendly with easy filtering options and the ability to export data, maps and charts. Information about how to use the Water environment hub is included within the system. 

The latest classification data can be found at the Water classification hub.

Contact us

For further information, please contact us.