Scottish Government has identified the need to improve how we manage surface water in Scotland. The Programme for Government: Protecting Scotland’s Future - The Government’s Programme for Scotland 2019-20 contains commitments to work together to increase Scotland’s use of blue-green infrastructure for drainage and flood management and to review our approach to blue-green cities and bring forward proposals by the end of 2020.
This paper contributes to the review by considering what improvements we can make to surface water management in communities across Scotland by building on existing policy and by improving how we work together. The focus on placemaking aims to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of funding and widen support for the statutory stakeholders.
The paper outlines how surface water is currently managed in Scotland, sets out a vision for the future and describes the components that should be brought together to form a coherent framework that will support delivery.
It concludes with recommendations for action to improve the delivery of surface water management and flood resilience in Scotland, to support the commitments in the Programme for Government and to help address the relevant recommendations in the Infrastructure Commission for Scotland’s Key Findings Report – specifically those focused on climate adaptation, "infrastructure first" and improving regulatory coherence across water provision, flood management and resilience.
Taken together the recommendations aim to support the transition to water resilient places where communities can continue to thrive as climate change impacts play-out over the coming decades.
The recommendations focus on what is required to improve surface water management in Scotland. The next stage will be to prioritise them and describe how they will be taken forward. It is anticipated that this will be the subject of a future "delivery" paper. Annex 3 Organises the 21 recommendations made in this document under five key messages and identifies primary and supporting recommendations for each one.