Water is essential to life itself as well as every aspect of our society and economy. The global pressures on our fresh water resources are enormous and will continue to grow. How a society manages the provision of its water supply and its waste water services will be a key determinant of how successful it is. Ultimately, even a water-abundant nation such as Scotland will have to unlock innovation on a grand scale. The Water supply and waste water sector plan focuses on how we will support the sector to do this.
SEPA is committed to supporting regulated businesses during COVID-19 and following EU Exit. Whilst SEPA remains impacted by a complex and sophisticated cyber-attack the organisation continues to maintain protections for Scotland’s environment, communities and our people.
We recognise that the ability of operators to run their operations may be compromised.
We are clear we expect everyone we regulate to take all reasonable steps to remain in compliance with Scotland’s environmental laws. We expect operators to be actively preparing for the impacts of COVID-19, and ensuring that the impacts on the environment are minimised. We recognise, however, that in some cases operators may be unable to comply for reasons beyond their control.
Our regulatory response to COVID-19 public health emergency, the cyber-attack and EU exit can be found on our regulatory approach hub.
This plan is our strategic plan for the water supply and waste water sector. It covers both public and private water supply and waste water treatment. It sets out how we are going to regulate the sector and work with it to protect and improve the environment. Its central focus is on building a circular economy that helps minimise the impact of the sector on the environment and strengthens Scotland's resilence to climate change.
SEPA regulate a wide range of activities carried out by the Water supply and waste water sector. Key regulations and legislation include:
Visit the regulations section of our website for further information.
In 2015, the First Minister pledged that Scotland would lead the way to deliver a more equal, more just world, by signing Scotland up to the United Nation (UN) Sustainable Development Goals. These global goals give us the framework to achieve real change, from eradicating poverty to ensuring a good home for us all. This vision is underpinned by SEPA’s own regulatory strategy, One Planet Prosperity, which aims to deliver environmental protection and improvement in ways which help communities and businesses thrive within the resources of our planet.
Scotland’s businesses have a critical role to play in leading Scotland’s contribution to achieving SDGs. Through our sector plans, we have identified opportunities that will work towards achieving the goals and help realise the economic benefit of increased resource efficiency, innovation and resilience.
The actions set out in the Water Supply and Waste Water Sector Plan contribute towards UN Sustainable Development Goals 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17.