What we do

Nationally the Dee Catchment Partnership helps to deliver the Scottish River Basin Management Plan and the Local Flood Risk Management plan. We assist and promote the delivery of the Scottish Rural Development Programme. Our approach also aligns with the principles of the Scottish Land Use Strategy. 

River Basin Management

The EU Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC became law in Scotland as the Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003 (WEWS) and it established a comprehensive system for the protection, improvement and sustainable use of the water environment.

This included the introduction of River Basin Management Plans that aim to protect and improve Scotland’s water environment for the benefit of people, wildlife and the economy. Much of the water environment in Scotland is in good condition. However, there are still significant problems affecting water quality, physical condition, water flows and levels, and the migration of wild fish. Invasive non-native species are also damaging aquatic plant and animal communities.

The river basin management plans for Scotland set out a range of actions to address these impacts. They are produced every six years by SEPA on behalf of Scottish Government. They cover actions for all responsible authorities in Scotland. They summarise:

  • The state of the water environment
  • Pressures affecting the quality of the water environment where it is in less than good condition
  • Actions to protect and improve the water environment
  • A summary of outcomes following implementation

The Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2011 (as amended) came into being in Scotland, made it is an offence to carry out, or to cause or permit others to carry out, any controlled activity unless that controlled activity is authorised and carried out in accordance with authorisation (CAR Licence).

The following activities are included within the scope of CAR:

Discharges (including Sustainable Urban Drainage Sytems, SuDSDiffuse pollutionAbstractionsEngineering works in inland waters, and Groundwater (including Nitrate Vulnerable Zones)


Managing Flooding

The Floods Directive was transposed into UK law through the:

Flood Risk Regulations 2009Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009Flood and Water Management Act 2010 

Specific measures within the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009 include:

  • A framework for coordination and cooperation between all organisations involved in flood risk management
  • Assessment of flood risk and preparation of flood risk management strategies and local flood risk management plans
  • New responsibilities for SEPA, Scottish Water and local authorities in relation to flood risk management
  • A revised, streamlined process for flood protection schemes
  • New methods to enable stakeholders and the public to contribute to managing flood risk
  • A single enforcement authority for the safe operation of Scotland's reservoirs

Scottish Rural Development Programme

The  Scottish Rural Development Programme 2014 - 2020 delivers Pillar 2 of the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). It funds economic, environmental and social measures for the benefit of rural Scotland. The key purpose of the SRDP 2014 - 2020 is to help achieve sustainable economic growth in Scotland’s rural areas and the priorities remains broadly the same as the previous programme:  The main priorities are:

  • Enhancing the rural economy
  • Supporting agricultural and forestry businesses
  • Protecting and improving the natural environment
  • Addressing the impact of climate change
  • Supporting rural communities

Scotland Land Use Strategy

Scotland's Land Use Strategy is a key commitment of Section 57 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. The main priorties relate to the economy, environment and communities; and the Principles for Sustainable Land Use to guide policy and decision making. It builds on the experience of the two Regional Land Use Pilot projects in Aberdeenshire and the Scottish Borders which tested an innovative approach to local land use decision-making. The second Strategy (2016-2021) contains activities for the next 5 years including themes such as agriculture, Scottish Rural Development Programme, forestry and the uplands as well as land use decision-making at a local level.



Scottish Biodiversity Strategy

The Scottish Biodiversity Strategy calls for a more integrated approach to land and water management across whole catchments and provide us with the opportunity to integrate biodiversity objectives into wider water management objectives. We work with our partners to identify, prioritise and deliver biodiversity enhancement and protection of the water environment.

Under the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009, there is an opportunity to integrate biodiversity and ecosystem objectives into the flood risk management process. Natural flood management measures that may benefit biodiversity include creation of more natural landscapes and restoration of functional wetlands, floodplains and associated habitats.

Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981)

Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004

Conservation (Natural habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994 as amended

Regulatory reform (Scotland) Act 2014

Wildlife and natural environment (Scotland) Act 2011.