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Publications

1st March 2016

Developing a methodology for screening and identifying potential sources of bacteria to improve bathing, shellfish and drinking water quality

Although the quality of water in Scotland is generally very good, bacteria can pose a risk to human health via shellfish, bathing and drinking water quality issues. Faecal indicator organisms are of primary concern, since they are the key microbial water quality compliance parameters – specifically...
1st March 2016

To what extent could water quality be improved by reducing the phosphorous content in animal feed?

The latest River Basin Management Plan (RBMP; Scottish Government, 2015) states that 16% of waterbodies are below good status for water quality, and 246 waterbodies face rural diffuse pressures. Rural diffuse pollution has been identified as the number one water quality issue. Previous water...
1st January 2016

Are Scotland’s soils really wetter in winter than in the past?

Good soil structure and field drainage systems are key to achieving good water quality and minimising flood risk. They are also vital for agricultural productivity and in the greenhouse gas balance of many soil systems.
1st December 2015

Rural Sustainable Drainage Systems: A practical design and build guide for Scotland's farmers and landowners

Soil cultivation, manure / fertiliser applications and chemical spraying can all contribute to diffuse pollution from agricultural land.  Rainfall runoff from farm roads, tracks, yards and dusty roofs are also potential sources of diffuse pollution. Whilst many changes in farming practice have...
1st December 2015

Land management for increased flood resilience

Natural Flood Management (NFM) (e.g. restoring watercourses, riparian tree planting, washland and wetland creation) is a core component of flood risk management strategies in Scotland. However little is known of its potential impact on the farming and land management communities, individual farm...
1st November 2015

Scotland's Water Sector: An overview

The purpose of this research is to produce a map that demonstrates the scope and scale of Scotland’s water sector and demonstrates how the different parts of the sector link together. It demonstrates how the decision making processes that influence, manage and control Scotland’s water resources are...
1st November 2015

Learning from community led flood risk management

While flood risk management (FRM) policy in Scotland requires the consideration of natural flood management (NFM), many landowners do not yet support their implementation. Since many measures to support NFM can only be carried out with the support and participation of land-managers, it is...
1st November 2015

The Value of Scotland’s Water Resources – Legal Analysis

In 2010, the Scottish Government launched its ‘Hydro Nation’ initiative. Hydro Nation was conceived as a policy platform to bring together different aspects of the management of Scotland’s water resources, in order to maximise the value of that resource base. The first consultation was very much...
12th October 2015

Radon in groundwater drinking water supplies in Scotland

Are radon concentrations in drinking water higher in the high-risk area, where the underlying geology is likely to deliver high radon concentrations in groundwater and indoor-air, than elsewhere in Scotland? What should the minimum allowable radon concentration (parametric value) and action level...
8th September 2015

Developing simple indicators to assess the role of soils in determining risks to water quality

This project set out to explore the possibility of producing a set of four risk maps that could be used to determine the risk of diffuse pollution occurring within Scottish agricultural catchments. The key soil-based factors likely to affect water quality were deemed to be: • Sediment and...

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