The draft river basin management plan for Scotland 2021 - 2027

Closed 25 Jun 2021

Opened 21 Dec 2020

Results updated 8 Sep 2021

In December 2020, we published the consultations for the Draft River Basin Management Plan 2021-2027. The consultation ran until June 2021 and covered the whole of Scotland, including the Scotland River Basin District and the Scottish part of the Solway Tweed River Basin District. Cross border working arrangements were covered in the Solway Tweed documents. Respondents were supportive of the level of ambition set out in the plan but asked for more detail about how the aims would be delivered. The plans will be submitted to Scottish ministers for approval later in 2021 and the final plans, if approved, published in December 2021. In the interim we continue to work with partners to deliver the objectives.



The river basin management plan (RBMP) sets out how Scottish Government, SEPA, other responsible authorities and partners work together to protect and improve the water environment in Scotland. The plan aims to prevent deterioration and improve the quality of the water environment to at least good condition. The plan is prepared by SEPA and approved by Scottish ministers.

The draft plan is structured around how RBMP can help deliver Scotland’s environment strategy, contributing to a net-zero circular economy. It has a focus on tackling overuse of natural resources, the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis. The plan takes a whole systems approach to dealing with these issues focussed on the themes of; healthier and more resilient communities; water supply and wastewater infrastructure; sustainable and resilient rural land-use; and removing man-made barriers to fish migration.

This RBMP builds on previous plans published in 2009 and 2015, setting revised objectives for the period from 2021 to the end of 2027 and providing a strengthened programme of actions for achieving the objectives. 2027 is a significant date in the RBMP process. Over the past two cycles we have been working towards having all feasible and proportionate actions in place by 2027 to achieve good or better condition for Scotland’s water environment.

The draft third RBMP is supported by an online consultation Spotfire tool. The tool is a draft update to the Water Environment Hub, which contains all the data on RBMP pressures, actions and objectives.

This consultation covers the whole of Scotland and includes the pressures, actions and objectives for the Scotland river basin district and the Scottish part of the Solway Tweed. A separate consultation outlines how SEPA will coordinate work with the Environment Agency in the Solway Tweed river basin district.

You can download a copy of the consultation below but please read and complete the questions online where possible.
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  • Agriculture
  • Mining
  • Distilling
  • Hydropower
  • Local Authorities
  • Responsible Authorities
  • Fisheries
  • Industry
  • Landowners/ managers
  • Forestry
  • Aquaculture
  • National Parks
  • SEPA Staff
  • FRM LAG members
  • Team Unit Managers
  • Department Managers
  • Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC)
  • Management
  • Operations
  • Science and Strategy
  • Public
  • Nuclear Industry
  • Water


  • Bathing waters
  • Water Regulation
  • Diffuse pollution
  • Restoration
  • Fisheries
  • Protected areas
  • Water Quality
  • Water flows and levels
  • Flood Risk Management Planning
  • River Basin Management Planning
  • Resources
  • Aquaculture
  • Regulated activities