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The Scottish Government commissions a small number of targeted research projects at the request of the Drinking Water Quality Regulator for Scotland (DWQR), to focus on specific topics relating to drinking water supplies in Scotland.

Additionally, DWQR collaborates with various organisations in the UK and worldwide to deliver research that advances knowledge in areas of common interest.


Reports for the following completed research projects have been published:

A project by Scotland’s Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW) to:

  1. examine the range of radon concentrations in drinking water in Scotland;
  2. investigate the influence of the underlying rock or soil, hydrology and water-supply type on radon in drinking water; and
  3. identify areas of likely high exposure to radon in drinking water in Scotland. January 2017


A project by Scotland’s Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW) to:

  1. investigate whether radon concentrations in drinking water are higher in high risk areas where the underlying geology is likely to deliver high radon concentrations in groundwater and indoor-air than elsewhere in Scotland; and
  2. examine what the minimum allowable radon concentration (parametric value) and action level for remedial action in drinking water should be set at in order to protect public health from exposure to radon. January 2017


A project by ICF Consulting Services in association with the University of Dundee Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science to:

  1. review the current regulatory model for private water supplies, assessing its effectiveness to identify how the current review model could be improved to deliver cleaner and safer water for those using private water supplies;
  2. consider alternative regulatory models, focusing on the application of private water supply regulation elsewhere and also regulation of food safety; and
  3. identify potential improvements to the current approach. January 2017


A project by Scotland’s Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW) to:

  1. identify the extent and impact of poor installation, operation and maintenance of water treatment systems;
  2. monitor and assess the effectiveness of a statistically significant range of private water supplies to determine the impact of raw water quality, particularly colour and total organic carbon, on the effectiveness of UV disinfection;
  3. review existing information available on the impact of water quality, particularly colour and total organic carbon at levels commonly found in Scottish raw waters, on UV disinfection systems;
  4. provide guidance and information for Local Authorities and the owners and users of private water supplies on the impact of raw water quality on UV disinfection and the importance of maintenance. January 2016


A project by Black and Veatch to identify the root causes behind water quality events and incidents. July 2012


A project by Health Protection Scotland and NHS National Services Scotland to Black to detect evidence of an association between the introduction of filtration to the drinking water treatment system for Loch Katrine and changes in the level of antibodies to Cryptosporidium specific proteins (antigens) among residents of the relevant supply area. March 2011


A project by MWH AND SISTech to assess the costs and benefits relating to the Private Water Supplies (Scotland) Regulations 2006 by reviewing and improving the assessment made in previous studies conducted in 2002 and 2004. The study is based on a case study carried out by Scottish Borders Council. May 2010


A project by Cranfield University to examine the occurrence of disinfection by-products in Scottish drinking waters, together with potential health implications and methods of minimising formation. May 2009


A project by ADAS and CREH to statistically validate and enhance the risk assessment approach by the identification and appropriate weighting of easily measured variables that maximise its predictive power. October 2008


A project by WRc-NSF Ltd designed to generate data that would allow determination of likely health risks by conducting research on boiling water in kettles containing nickel elements and the influence of standing water in kettles prior to analysis. May 2007


A project by SPDL to use genotyping techniques to identify the species of Cryptosporidium oocysts isolated from Scottish raw and final drinking waters. September 2006


Research to examine the drinking water safety plan approach and how it might be applied in Scotland. March 2005