The Sustainable Land Management (SLM) team at Scottish Water is working in collaboration with landowners and developers to help protect drinking water sources throughout Scotland. Lauren Dixon, Scottish Water’s technical Support, explains how.
Scottish Water takes water from the environment and treats it to provide clean, safe supplies of drinking water for the people of Scotland. Within the SLM team we focus on using preventative methods to protect drinking water sources before it reaches the treatment works. Land use such as farming practices, large and small-scale construction, wind farms and forest activities can all affect the quality of our source waters. If these risks are not properly assessed, we can see a deterioration in water quality, which in turn increases the energy and chemical use for water treatment.
One way that we have been assisting land managers is through the Scottish Water SLM Incentive Scheme. We don’t expect land managers to cover the costs for protection of drinking water sources where this goes above pre-existing legal requirements (e.g. General Binding Rules (GBRs), Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ) rules). Land managers can apply to the Incentive Scheme for financial assistance to install measures that will help improve and protect water sources in the catchment, over and above the expected regulatory compliance.
This gives us the opportunity to enhance and maintain a high quality supply of drinking water, providing even greater value for money for our customers, while also delivering real environmental improvements. By working together, it is hoped that public health is protected, a sustainable approach to the improvement and protection of drinking water quality is adopted, and that, by selecting this more sustainable approach, land managers are not disadvantaged.
If you have any queries about the scheme please do not hesitate to contact Scottish Water at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All images courtesy of Scottish Water.