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Reviewing best practice in the delivery of good drinking water quality using a prevention-led approach

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The European Water Framework Directive (WFD) promotes increased awareness of catchment processes, and challenges the established dependence on a ‘treatment-led approach’ for the supply of drinking water. For example, WFD Article 7 promotes a ‘prevention-led approach’ (i.e. pollution prevention at source). Despite current treatment, there are numerous parameters (e.g. colour, manganese, certain pesticides) that are causing non-compliance for drinking water in a number of catchments within the UK and a shift to an approach that combines prevention-led and treatment-led approaches may be necessary. There is a need to work with stakeholders from across the EU and other countries to explore, identify, and share best practice in ways of delivering good drinking water quality using a prevention-led approach.

This project aims to collect evidence of a prevention-led approach within catchments and the benefit and value that this can potentially bring to safeguarding drinking water supplies in Scotland. The main focus will be on European countries, however, the project will explore international literature. The project is specifically interested in best practice measures which address organics in drinking water (e.g. Dissolved Organic Carbon) as well as taste and odour issues, from both diffuse and point sources.

Project Objectives

  • Identify countries, preferably with some similarities to Scotland in terms of water challenges or regulatory framework, to use as case studies for the project.
  • Review current best practice in the implementation of a prevention-led approach in the case study countries
  • Host and deliver a workshop that will include representation from the case study countries and Scottish stakeholders.
  • Identify best practice in the implementation of a prevention-led approach in the context of Scotland and the benefits and value that this could bring to water management in Scotland.