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...
1st July 2015
Inspiring Aquatic Monitoring - A review of innovative approaches to monitoring the aquatic environment
This project carried out an international review of monitoring networks to identify and summarise innovative approaches to inform monitoring under the water Framework Directive. SEPA said "As we review our monitoring networks to support the second cycle of the River Basin Management Plan, it's very...
4th June 2015
Practical measures for reducing phosphorus and faecal microbial loads from onsite wastewater treatment system discharges to the environment A review
Onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTS), the majority of which are septic tanks, are a contributing factor to phosphorus and faecal microbial loads. OWTS contribute to waterbodies failing to meet Water Framework Directive (WFD) objectives and as such, measures to improve the quality of OWTS...
1st June 2015
How do we increase public understanding of the benefits provided by SuDS?
There is a need to increase awareness of the benefits that water provides and how our actions can help protect and improve them. Concerns over water quality and quantity are increasing around the world and these are exacerbated by climate change and other pressures. Arguably, and having a plentiful...
1st June 2015
Spatially distributed modelling in support of the 2013 review of the Nitrates Directive
This report summarises the work undertaken at the James Hutton Institute of a modelling analysis of nitrate loads across Scotland as one stream of evidence to help underpin the NVZ review being undertaken by SEPA for the Scottish Government. This modelling work formed part of the core RESAS funded...