20th February 2017
Effect of Soil Structure and Field Drainage on Water Quality and Flood Risk
This report provides a broad assessment of the state of soil structure and drainage on commercial farms in four selected catchments during autumn/winter 2015/2016. We describe the policy implications of the findings. Similar UK studies are used to discuss our results. This project was...
27th January 2017
Assessing the combined effectiveness of Scotland's rural diffuse pollution measures in reducing FIO from a livestock catchment
SEPA are proposing to adopt monitoring to show effectiveness of rural diffuse pollution measures in reducing FIO from a livestock catchment. This will draw from the recommendations in the CREW report “Monitoring guidance to assess the effectiveness of the Rural Diffuse Pollution Plan”. Before SEPA...
1st April 2016
River restoration and biodiversity
The river environments of the UK and Ireland are special for their biodiversity and also the beneficial services they provide to humans. However after centuries of damage inflicted on them, our rivers have changed greatly and continue to be threatened. This means that effective river restoration...
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 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...
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...
1st September 2015
Review of existing knowledge – emerging contaminants; Focus on nanomaterials and microplastics in the aquatic environment
This comprehensive review covers the sources, impacts, risks and monitoring of water related ‘known-unknowns’, including potential emerging contaminants of concern within Scottish watercourses; data availability; impact assessment on ground and surface water including WFD compliance (and coastal...