Assessing Scotland's water environment: use of environmental standards, condition limits and classification schemes

This document sets out how SEPA should implement the Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003, using Directions from 2014.

Section 6 Presentation and Reporting

Classification information is an important component of the river basin management planning process. We need to ensure that those who wish information about the state of the water environment can access it readily, and consequently SEPA should make available a range of information about classification results, through a series of interactive maps using its GIS system. This information should include information about:

  • the overall status of bodies of surface water and groundwater;
  • the chemical status and, as relevant, the ecological status or ecological potential of bodies of surface water;
  • the chemical status and the quantitative status of bodies of groundwater;
  • the classification results for the individual quality elements for bodies of surface water or 'tests' for bodies of groundwater that were assessed in order to determine the classification of the water body;
  • information on the confidence of class in relation to the quality elements or tests that were assessed in order to determine the classification of the water body; and
  • information on whether or not protected areas are achieving their protected area objectives.

We expect SEPA to review and update the classification of water bodies on a rolling programme as new data is collected through its monitoring programmes and from other sources, as applicable. This will normally mean the results are updated once a year.


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