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James Hutton Institute's Hydro Nation consultation response

The consultation sought comments on the Scottish Government's proposals for a Water Resources Bill.

This consultation builds on the previous "Building a Hydro Nation" consultation in 2011. Proposals for a Water Resources Bill are set out in the context of the wider Hydro Nation agenda, and comments are invited. The Bill proposals include placing a duty on Scottish Ministers to develop the Hydro Nation programme of work, in collaboration with key organisations such as Scottish Water, SEPA and the Enterprise Agencies. Other proposals include updating legislation to manage temporary water shortages, community septic tanks and pro-actively manage substances from entering the water environment. The consultation closed on 12 March 2012.

1st March 2013

Aerial Spraying Guidance for the Protection of Watercourses

Aerial Spraying Guidance for the Protection of Watercourses; Cover photograph courtesy of: J Baggaley.

A 6 page report which examines the protocol for aerial spraying of Asulam (for bracken control). The existing operational protocol for spraying by helicopter requires a minimum 50 meter no-spray buffer zone from all surface water bodies, wells, boreholes and springs. This report looks at 1) the science behind the 50 meter buffer zone value; 2) the definition of a "watercourse" in upland catchments that could be used for this guidance.


The October-December 2012 edition of CREWs NEWs is now available. Find out about CREW events, projects, contract opportunities and competitions as well as news and events from the wider water sector. If you have any comments about CREWs NEWs or would like to advertise an upcoming event please get in touch.

1st February 2013

Value of Scotland's Water Resources

Short accessible briefing summaring current academic thinking and evidence on the value of water resources. It considers the Scottish context and examines how the value of water resources might be developed. Produced for the stage 3 debate for the Water Resources (Scotland) Bill which took place in the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday 27th February.


Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, referred to this in her speech on the Water Resources Bill. See Scottish Parliament official report (17087).

Maureen Watt, MSP, lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament welcoming the briefing on 11 March 2013.

1st October 2012

Natural Flood Management and Local Authorities in Scotland

Under the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009, SEPA is responsible for assessing where natural flood management measures (NFM) could contribute to reducing flood risk and detailing this in flood risk management strategies. Local authorities  then have responsibility for identifying how these measures will be implemented in local flood risk management plans. To encourage local authorities to use NFM measures in the future, the Scottish Government and SEPA asked CREW to survey the local authorities to identify their requirements to enable them to work with land managers/owners to implement NFM measures.

1st November 2012

Fate of terrestrial carbon in the Scottish coastal environment

Each year approximately 400 - 430 x 1012g of terrestrial organic carbon is transported from the continents via rivers to the global ocean. Yet it is estimated that only a very small fraction of the organic carbon dissolved in the ocean, or preserved in underlying sediments, seem to be of terrigenous origin, with about 10% of the riverine input of organic carbon (i.e. 43 x 1012g) actually buried in shelf sediments each year. So, the question is where does the remaining 90% of the terrestrial organic carbon go?

1st February 2013

Impact of riparian invasive non-native plant species on freshwater habitats and species

Impact of riparian invasive non-native plant species on freshwater habitats and species; Cover photograph courtesy of: Jenni Stockan.

This short report summarises the documented impacts of riparian invasive non-native plant species Rhododendron (Rhododendron ponticum and its hybrids), Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica), Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens grandulifera), and Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) on freshwater habitats and species.

1st July 2012

Mapping of water supply-demand deficits with climate change in Scotland: land use implications

Mapping of water supply - demand deficits with climate change in  Scotland

The supply-demand balance is a key measure of water resource sustainability.This balance is highly uneven across Scotland with much of the demand for water in the drier east. Agricultural irrigation is increasing in many areas, linked to land use change and requirements for high-quality produce. Better knowledge of the water balance can help secure its multiple benefits, including food security, energy crops, and the natural environment. A changing climate has implications for both water supply and demand but previous assessments have not included the influence of land use.

1st December 2012

Blue Health: Water, Health & Well-being – Salutogenic Benefits

This research builds on the current evidence base showing a salutogentic (i.e. health improving) benefit of green space (termed “green health”). Based on this evidence we posited that water settings (blue space) should hold similar health benefits, i.e. offer opportunities for increased physical activity and recreation; afford opportunities for social contact – planned or impromptu; and promote psychological restoration and stress reduction. The purpose of this project was to review the literature and draw together the current research evidence showing positive benefits of water settings on physical, social and mental wellbeing.

1st December 2012

Blue Health: Water, Health & Well-being – Sustainable Drainage Systems

There is increasing interest in exploring the health and well-being impacts of water in the environment (blue health), including the potential of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SUDS) to enhance amenity for residents. Blue health research is relatively new, and the purpose of this project was to review the literature and draw together any research evidence about the health impacts of SUDS.


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