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 7 Conclusions

Scotland's water environment is in a relatively good condition compared with that in many other parts of Europe. We need to ensure we maintain this position in the face of increasing pressures and the uncertainty of climate change. The introduction of the River Basin Management Planning process underpinned by the WEWS Act and CAR allows us to develop an integrated approach to managing activities that can adversely affect our water environment, so that current and future generations can enjoy and use it in a sustainable and responsible way.

Through the 2014 Standards Directions and Status Directions, we now have many of the tools we need to assess and protect the structure and functioning of our river, loch, estuary and coastal water ecosystems. We expect SEPA to use these tools to protect the ecological quality of the water environment and in turn assess how successful we have been in achieving the objectives established through the river basin management planning process.

Further tools and standards will be developed as our knowledge continues to increase.


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