River Basin Management Planning

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River basin management planning 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

We recently ran consultations about the steps we will take to engage stakeholders in the preparation of the third river basin management plan, RBMP, for Scotland.

The respondents were very supportive of the proposed approach. The consultation documents and summary of responses can be found on our publications page. Further information will be available in our Engagement Strategy 2019 - 2021  due later this year.

We are working to develop the Current Condition and Challenges for the Future consultation that will be published later this year. This will include:

  • a description of the current condition of the water environment;
  • an assessment of the progress towards achieving the improvement targets set for 2021;
  • identification of significant water management challenges.

This will provide the foundation for the development of the draft third plans in 2020.

Consultation on revised environmental standards

UKTAG (UK Technical Advisory Group) is proposing some new and revised biological and environmental standards for the Water Framework Directive. As part of this process a consultation will run for six weeks to Friday 5 July to seek views and opinions from stakeholders which may inform and improve the proposals further.

It covers changes to tools or techniques used to classify the water environment across the UK. Full details of the consultation and how to submit your views are available on the Water Framework Directive UKTAG website.

Following consideration of responses to the consultation, UKTAG will make recommendations to the UK’s government administrations. The government administrations will consider the recommendations, and may consult on revisions to the environmental standards they direct agencies to use.

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.