Action plan launched to improve Scotland's waterways
A PLAN to improve the estimated 35 per cent of Scottish waterways not in good condition has been put forward by the Scottish Government and Sepa.
The first wide-ranging assessment of the condition of Scotland's waters found 607 of 3,095 bodies were in a poor or bad state, with sewage disposal and agricultural emissions chiefly to blame.
The study of rivers, lochs, reservoirs, canals and coastal waters recorded that 1,999 bodies were of a high or good standard, with 489 found to be moderate.
The findings will be used as the basis of an 18-year plan to bring all waterways up to the highest standard. This will include tackling pollution, as well as a greater emphasis on discouraging the use of nitrates in agriculture.
The plan also contains measures to improve agricultural irrigation and drinking water, as well as upgrading flood defences and monitoring the engineering for hydropower generation.
Environment minister Roseanna Cunningham said that the measures struck a balance between the protection of the water environment and wildlife and the interests of those who depended upon it for work: "This marks a significant shift in water management and a shift towards a holistic source-to-sea approach," she said.
"The plans have been produced by Sepa, with input from over 100 organisations, but can only be successful if agencies, local authorities, businesses, land managers and the public work in partnership to deliver a healthy and sustainable future for Scotland's water environment."
Sepa chief executive Campbell Gemmell added: "The fact that Scotland's water is already among the best in Europe is to be celebrated, as is the number of water bodies already of good or better status. The task now is to build on this and meet our target of 97 per cent of water bodies achieving good or better status by 2027."
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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