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Taking a collaborative approach in the water sector: Lessons learned from the Metropolitan Glasgow Strategic Drainage Partnership (MGSDP)

The Metropolitan Glasgow Strategic Drainage Partnership (MGSDP) is a non-statutory, voluntary, partnership between public bodies involved in managing surface water, water quality, flood risk, investment planning and economic development in a regulatory, service provision, asset management and / or infrastructure provision capacity.

The aim of this project is to summarize, assess, and review the partnership since its start in 2002, and to provide recommendations based on lessons learned, geared towards three principal areas of interest:

(i) Recommendations for the MGSDP regarding any possible opportunities for improvements of the partnership;

(ii) Recommendations for practitioners and stakeholders, with a particular focus on how similar partnerships may benefit other cities and regions in Scotland;

(iii) Recommendations for key areas of policy and regulation within the Scottish Government (and its bodies) about the benefits of taking a collaborative partnership approach in the water sector.


The project was requested by the Flood Risk Management team at Scottish Government, and co-developed with Scottish Canals, Glasgow City Council, and CREW. The project was commissioned and funded by CREW, and is delivered by a multi-disciplinary team from the Universities of Abertay and Herriot Watt. The project steering group includes representatives from: Scottish Government, SEPA, Scottish Canals, Glasgow City Council, GCV Green Network, Dundee City Council, Aberdeen City Council, Scottish Water and ClimateXChange (CXC).

Project Objectives

The research questions for this project include:

How has the partnership developed since its start in 2002? What changes/impact have occurred since 2002? What obstacles exist? What recommendations can be given to the partnership? What can be learned for the management of flood risk and other aspects of water management in other areas of Scotland, in particular Scottish cities?