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 are currently 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.

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.