Scots consult on water classification

The Scottish Government has set out draft guidance on how the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) should assess and classify the quality of Scotland’s water environment.1

The classification of the ecological status of water bodies is an integral part of the EU water framework Directive and the achievement of its goal of "good ecological status".

Most of the spadework on classification has been done by the UK Technical Advisory Group (UKTAG), a partnership of UK environment and conservation agencies set up to advise on the Directive’s implementation. It has already devised the standards for classifying surface waters (ENDS Report 396, p 39 ), groundwaters (ENDS Report 390, pp 43-44 ) and heavily modified water bodies.

The current consultation is on the directions which SEPA should be given on implementing the standards in ministerial directions.

In general the classification schemes reflect those proposed by UKTAG but there are specific elements as to how they should apply in Scottish conditions.

The consultation closes on 17 October.

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