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The Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009: Delivering Sustainable Flood Risk Management


Statutory context

The production of this guidance is one of the duties of the Scottish Ministers set out in the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009 (the Act). This guidance is issued by the Scottish Ministers to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency ( SEPA) and the responsible authorities under section 2 (5) and section 29 of the Act. The responsible authorities are local authorities and Scottish Water, and any other public bodies and office-holders designated as such by the Scottish Ministers.

Guidance is provided to SEPA and the responsible authorities on fulfilling their duties to:

  • act in the way best calculated to manage flood risk in a sustainable way; and
  • consider the social, environmental and economic impact of exercising flood risk management functions;

Initial guidance is also provided to SEPA on:

  • Setting objectives and identifying measures for inclusion in flood risk management plans prepared under Sections 27 and 28 of the Act. As required by Section 29 (2), the guidance addresses how the alteration and restoration of natural features and characteristics of the landscape should be considered.

The guidance will be reviewed every six years or earlier to ensure continual improvement, and to reflect the experience and needs of those involved and assist further in delivering the main purpose of the Act, which is to reduce flood risk.


A public consultation was carried out on draft guidance between 18 January 2011 and 18 March 2011. 49 responses were received and both the responses and the report on the analysis of the consultation response are available to view separately on the Scottish Government website. The many and varied comments made by consultees have been taken on board and taken into account where appropriate when drafting this guidance.