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Improving implementation and increasing uptake of measures to improve water quality in Scotland

This page is no longer updated. The information presented here formed part of our previous areas of research. This has included research carried out on behalf of our research partners, commerical contracts and also the Scottish Goverment's Strategic research programme during the period 2011 - 2016.

Scottish Goverment LogoWe have left these pages here to provide background information on our previous areas of research. Further details on the RESAS strategic programme of research (2016-21) will be made available.

Further details on why we archive pages can be found on the following page.

Photo by Andy Vinten and shows a buffer strip in a field in Aberdeenshire
Understanding stakeholders' perceptions and behaviours is critical to improving implementation of measures to mitigate water quality problems.

Guidance and advice for improving implementation and increasing uptake of measures to improve water quality in Scotland

The Scotland River Basin Management Plan (2010) requires implementation of programmes of measures to support achievement of the Water Framework Directive and compliance with Nitrogen Vulnerable Zones. Similarly,the Diffuse Pollution Management Strategy for Scotland aims to improve water quality through a combination of regulation, guidance and voluntary measures.

As well as research on how to improve the effectiveness of these policies, there needs to be an understanding of how to improve implementation and uptake of measures by land managers and other key stakeholders. The James Hutton Institute, together with other partner institutions, has a full research programme aimed at deepening our knowledge of factors, barriers and opportunities that influence implementation and uptake of measures to mitigate water quality problems and provide guidance and advice to decision-makers.

On these pages you can find a number of research projects and knowledge exchange activities that provide information and up-to-date research findings. To facilitate the search and identification of key messages, this site is organised according to three criteria:

  • Focus: The main focus of projects here is on water quality issues. But flooding is also a very important aspect of water management in Scotland, so it also includes outputs of some flooding related research projects. As well as this, third project focus is general catchment management.
  • Aspect: These pages focus on four key aspects: barriers and opportunities for improving implementation of measures; behaviours influencing uptake of measures; perceptions regarding the measures; and awareness raising initiatives.
  • Scale: Projects and activities looking at the national Scottish level, the catchment level and the sub-catchment level.

This resource aims to be a dynamic source of up-to-date information for policy makers, practitioners, water industry, scientists and students to provide guidance and advice on how to improve implementation and increase uptake of measures to mitigate water problems. New projects and activities will be uploaded in the future.

Read our short two page leaflet for more information about the information system.

For more information on this research contact Dr Paula Novo (Principal Investigator) or Kirsty L. Holstead (Project Officer).

If you are carrying out a project and would like to have it included then please supply us with further information using the online form.

We would appreciate your feedback on this information system, please fill in a feedback form to help us improve the site.





For information on the development of Indicators of the impact of SRDP (2007-2013) on water quality in Scotland please see below:

Map showing the distribution of the categories and their likley impact on water quality.European Commission (EC) agri-environment payments account for around 2.5 billion Euros per year and are financially the largest measure for implementation of the EC’s rural development policy. In the context of water quality, the EC require post-hoc evidence (in the form of policy impact indicators) to assess whether these payments are well designed. The work reported develops a methodology to provide an impact indicator for relevant agri-environment payments (principally Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP). Measures funded in Scotland from 2008-2013 included approx. £248m of expenditure which was included in water quality options or considered to have at least some impact of water quality.

These were grouped into several categories according to likely impact on water quality, including Manure/slurry storage; Arable reversion to grassland; Low intensity grazing; Water margins; Farm woodlands;Organic farming; Create, restore and manage wetlands; Extended hedges and grass margins; Restoration of floodplains; Biodiversity of in-bye land.

Further details of the report can be found in a summary document or in the full report.


Areas of Interest

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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.