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River Basin Management Planning is a requirement of the Water Framework Directive which aims to protect and improve water quality across Europe. Implemented in Scotland via domestic legislation the overarching aim is to achieve ‘good status’ in 97% of water bodies by 2027.

Consultations on both the Scotland and Solway Tweed River Basin Districts have recently been undertaken. The plans were published in 2015 for a six-year planning cycle up to 2021. The consultation gave a high level overview of the main pressures on the water environment and how these should be addressed. Although water quality is generally good, pressures include diffuse pollution from urban and agricultural sources, and alterations to the physical habitat of rivers.

Research priorities are many and varied and include characterisation of urban diffuse pollution, understanding sources and measures for impacts of faecal contamination of shellfish waters and the benefits of restoring the physical condition of rivers.


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