Responsible authorities

The responsible authorities were identified by Scottish Ministers as public bodies which work in partnership with SEPA to develop and implement river basin planning. The  Water Environment Water Services Act 2003 defines the roles of the responsible authorities

In summary responsible authorities, alongside SEPA and Scottish Ministers are required to:

  • Exercise their designated functions so as to secure compliance with the water framework directive
  • In doing so, have regard to social and economic impacts, promote sustainable flood risk management, and contribute to the achievement of sustainable development.
  • As far as practical, adopt an integrated approach by cooperating with each other to coordinate their respective functions.

In addition, Scottish Ministers and all public bodies are required to have regard to the desirability of protecting the water environment and have regard to the river basin management plans.

Responsible authorities and their designated functions are defined through the Water Environment (Relevant Enactments and Designation of Responsible Authorities and Functions) (Scotland) Order 2011.

Responsible Authorities include:

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