Water Environment

WE 1 - Maintaining Water Status

Objective:

Continue to maintain and where possible enhance the quality of the water environment that is already deemed to be at good status

Significant achievements against objective (2017 - 2022):

  • Waste water treatment for all new development effectively controlled by Local Authorities and CNPA through planning process.
  • Pollution Prevention Plans required as part of developer's Construction Method Statements.
  • Through consultation process, SFB ensure that instream developments and abstractions do not impact on "Good" ecological status or important species.
  • SUDS widely promoted for new developments.
  • SEPA lead on protecting water quality status through ongoing water quality and ecology monitoring , licenced site inspection, improving licensed discharges, permitting new activities through CAR to control their impacts, pollution incident response and enforcment action.
  • Waste water treatment for all new development effectively controlled by Local Authorities and CNPA through planning process.
  • Pollution Prevention Plans required as part of developer's Construction Method Statements.
  • Through consultation process, SFB ensure that instream developments and abstractions do not impact on "Good" ecological status or important species.
  • SUDS widely promoted for new developments.
  • SEPA lead on protecting water quality status through ongoing water quality and ecology monitoring , licenced site inspection, improving licensed discharges, permitting new activities through CAR to control their impacts, pollution incident response and enforcment action.
WE 2 - Improving Water Status

Objective:

Improve the status of the water environment where it is failing to meet good status, focussing on priority measures requiring delivery by 2030

Significant achievements against objective (2017 - 2022):

  • Scottish Water improvements to waste water treatment, eg sewers and pump station at Kingussie upgrade to reduce the number of overflow events.
  • Misconnections at Aviemore Highland Resort resolved, reducing pollution risk to the Milton Burn.
  • Continual efforts to reach higher standards in water treatment eg Phosphate and Nitrate levels.
  • Good level of take up by farms of agri-environment schemes for agriculture near water courses.
  • River restoration and mitigation works on Kincraig to Dalraddy A9 dualling on water courses crossed (SFB and Transport Scotland).
  • Fish barriers addressed to achieve RBMP good status-Broad Burn, Burn of Tervie, River Nethy (u/s Nethy Bridge), River Fiddich (d/s Dufftown), Dulnain (Feith Mor), Knockando Burn.
  • Water flows and Levels improved to achieve good status-Ballintomb burn, Aberlour Burn.
  • Water Quality improvement to good status-Loch Insh, Green Burn.
WE 3 - Water Quality Characteristics

Objective:

Improving understanding of key characteristics that are important to water quality within the Spey catchment.

Significant achievements against objective (2017 - 2022):

  • Significant thermal uplifts arising from new distillery cooling waters avoided (CNPA Planning).
  • Cumulative impacts of industrial thermal outputs investigated (SFB), with concerns on Fiddich reported to SEPA.
  • MC community engagement events held to improve public understanding.
  • Development of Flood Risk and Drainage Impact Supplementary Guidance for developers (MC).
  • Work ongoing to determine if acidification an issue in upper catchment.
  • SEPA comprehensive review of the water quality in 2013 in response to NS concerns about FWPM confirmed general wq was high, FWPM technical group on-going.
  • SEPA now monitoring at Loch Morlich where there is a water quality issue.
  • Sediment tracking project in the Spey and other rivers underway.
  • SFB contribute to Scottish River Temperature Monitoring Network (MSS) on-going water temperature monitoring.
WE 4 - Managing Water Quality

Objective:

Better understand and deal with issues associated with low water flow, storage and abstraction regimes within the Spey catchment.

Significant achievements against objective (2017 - 2022):

  • SFB commissioned Envirocentre to produce revised report on Water Abstraction throughout the Spey Catchment (2021).
  • SFB liaising with SEPA's Hydro Review Team to propose reductions in water diversions for hydroelectricity, including re-watering of the Allt Bhran and Cuaich, will form part of the 3rd cycle of River Basin Management Plan.
  • On-going management of abstraction through SEPA permit reviews.
  • SFB launched #Release the Spey campaign
WE 5 - Climate Change

Objective:

Develop catchment resilience against the impacts of climate change, such as increased frequency and intensity of high rainfall events and associated spates.

Significant achievements against objective (2017 - 2022):

  • Total of 10 SCI projects delivered, all include climate change resilience elements.
  • Extensive riparian fencing and tree planting projects River Spey at Kinchurdy, River Truim and River Calder sub-catchments.
  • Delivered through various plans and strategies including Flood risk management plans.
  • CNPA secured Heritage Horizons Lottery Funding to deliver projects upstream of PVA's to help improve climate change resilience.
  • Increased awareness of water scarcity issues following 2018 drought. SFB did a good report on the effects of flood events on salmon.
  • Extensive land manager-led peatland restoration which includes ditch blocking carried out across upland areas of catchment, contributes to slowing runoff.