Flood Risk Management in Scotland- 2018 Consultation on Potentially Vulnerable Areas

Closes 31 Jul 2018

Opened 1 May 2018


Your views count – have your say on Potentially Vulnerable Areas (PVAs) for Flood Risk Management in Scotland.

The consultation runs from 1 May to 31 July 2018, and we’d like your views.

What are Potentially Vulnerable Areas (PVAs)?

PVAs are where significant flood risk exists now or is likely to occur in the future. They are part of the National Flood Risk Assessment process, and help Scotland to understand and prioritise where work could benefit the most. They are a vital part of protecting people, properties, businesses, communities, infrastructure and our environment.

Since 2011, when PVAs were first identified, SEPA and our partners have been working hard to improve data and methods of flood risk assessment. As a result we now have new information. This has resulted in changes to the PVAs, which we want your opinion on, to check we’ve got it right.

For each PVA identified:

  • We will produce flood hazard and flood risk maps for the area;
  • We, in consultation, will set objectives and identify actions to address flood risk;
  • Local Flood Risk Management Plans will be produced by lead local authorities;
  • Scottish Water will undertake an assessment of the risk of flooding from the sewerage system.

Important information on PVAs

Not all parts of a PVA will be at risk of flooding. We use a catchment approach to set the boundaries. This means looking across whole river systems and coastal areas and using these natural boundaries.

There will be some people and places outside of proposed PVAs at risk of flooding. Not being included in a PVA does not mean that the risk of flooding is insignificant to the individual or that support will not be provided by flood risk authorities.

Scotland’s National Flood Risk Assessment (NFRA)

Scotland’s Potentially Vulnerable Areas are based on the NFRA, which is updated and published every six years. This provides a clear picture of past, current and future flood risk. It considers flooding from rivers, the sea and from surface water. SEPA will publish the second NFRA in December 2018. More information is available here: NFRA Methodology

Further information on some of the terms and processes used within the NFRA can be found in our Glossary  and FAQs.


Why We Are Consulting

We want your views on the proposed PVAs and the consultation arrangements, which will inform the Flood Risk Management Strategies.

The consultation closes on 31 July 2018. We will publish a summary of responses through our website. SEPA will take account of views received and submit proposals to Scottish Ministers later this year. Scottish Ministers will formally designate PVAs which will be published in December 2018.

Start the online survey by clicking on the link below to:

  • View the PVAs and consultation questions
  • See more information on future consultation arrangements planned during the development of Flood Risk Management Strategies.

The online survey is best viewed on a desktop, laptop or larger tablet type devices. The online survey can be completed on a smart phone though the user experience may be below that experienced on a larger screen. For the best user experience please make sure your web browser is up to date.

Paper copies of the survey and supporting documentation can be seen and filled in at SEPA's Edinburgh, Euro-central and Aberdeen offices. If you would like to fill in a hard copy please get in touch with the SEPA Contact centre (SCC) on 03000 996699 to arrange an appointment.



  • Local Authorities
  • Responsible Authorities
  • Landowners/ managers
  • Public
  • Developers
  • EA, SEPA and NRW Staff


  • Flood Risk Management Planning