THE WATER ENVIRONMENT AND WATER SERVICES (SCOTLAND) ACT 2003 (WEWS)
The WFD was transposed into Scots law in 2003 by the Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act (WEWS) 2003. Public participation is a key requirement of the Water Framework Directive (WFD), and throughout the development of the legislation stakeholder views were sought on the full range of issues.
The Act created a new River Basin Management Planning (RBMP) process to achieve environmental improvements to protect and improve our water environment in a sustainable way; and provided for regulations to control the adverse impacts of all activities likely to have an impact on the water environment. These matters are discussed in more detail on the RBMP and the regulatory framework pages. The Act also sets out clear roles for the Scottish Ministers and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency ( SEPA).
The Act requires the production of annual reports to the Scottish Parliament detailing progress on implementing the WFD.
Transitional waters are those areas of water to be found at river mouths and estuaries which are partly saline in nature but are also substantially affected by freshwater flows from upstream. The WEWS Act contains provisions for the production of a map showing the limits of Scottish transitional waters. This map was produced in 2004.
Register of protected areas
Under the Act Scottish Ministers introduced requirements for SEPA to establish a register of protected areas. This was taken forward in 2004.
The Register must present information on the following types of protected areas as designated by Scottish Ministers.
- Shellfish waters
- Freshwater fish waters
- Bathing waters
- Drinking water protected areas
- Nutrient sensitive areas such as Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs) and Urban Waste Water Treatment (UWWT) sites
- Nature conservation sites for the protection of habitats and birds
These designations are regularly reviewed. The current designations can be viewed on SEPA's register of protected areas