Skip to content


Estimating environmental response times to implemented measures based on catchment typologies

SEPA implement regulatory and incentivised measures to protect and improve water quality. The intended effects of the various measures implemented are to: (i) avoid or reduce inputs of pollutants at source; (ii) control / delay transport of pollutants in-field; and (iii) trap pollutants before they reach waterbodies. Estimating lags in water quality response to measures based on catchment typologies could help SEPA to improve diffuse pollution control and communicate to stakeholders the causes of the perceived lack of response to measures in waterbodies that have not improved yet.

This project will undertake a systematic review of the literature on water quality response and lags in response to the measures implemented.

Project Objectives

Research questions to be answered in the project: 

  1. What key catchment processes influence lags in water quality response to diffuse pollution control measures (hereafter the measures)?
  2. What (inter)national evidence base is available on lags in water quality response to measures for each type of measure and pollutant, i.e. total phosphorus (P), soluble reactive inorganic phosphorus (SRP), total nitrogen (TN), nitrate, faecal indicator organisms (FIO), and sediment?
  3. Is it possible to define/identify catchment typologies in Scotland to estimate lags in water quality response for each pollutant and type of measure? If not, why not?




Contact Nikki Dodd