This content is exclusively provided by FAO / FAOLEX

Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003 (Asp 3 of 2003).

Type of law
Date of original text

The Act sets out new arrangements for the protection of the water environment and changes how new connections to the public water and sewerage infrastructure are to be funded. The water environment provisions of the Act (Part 1) make provision and enable provision to be made for or in connection with implementing Directive 2000/60/EC establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy. The Directive requires Member States to put in place systems for managing their water environments, based on natural river basin districts and underpinned by extensive environmental monitoring and scientific investigation, called "river basin management". It further requires Member States to take account of the need to recover the costs of water services as a way of encouraging the sustainable use of water resources. Part 1 of the Act: (a) sets out the general purpose of protection of the water environment; (b) defines the water environment and sets out the duties of public authorities, in respect of its protection; (c) provides for the establishment of river basin districts and the characterisation thereof; (d) provides for the establishment of a register of protected areas and for the identification of waters used for the abstraction of drinking water; (e) requires an environmental objective to be set for each body of water in a river basin district and that monitoring of the status of the water environment in each river basin district is carried out; (f) requires the preparation of river basin management plans for each river basin district and places a duty on public authorities to have regard to river basin management plans, where relevant; (g) describes the procedures for preparation, approval and review of these plans; (h) requires the creation of river basin district advisory groups and allows for the creation of sub-basin plans; (i) provides for regulation making, (j) amends to the Town and County Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 to the effect that local authorities will be given planning control over marine fish farms. Part 2 of the Act makes changes to the system for funding new connections to the water and sewerage infrastructure by amending the Sewerage (Scotland) Act 1968 and the Water (Scotland) Act 1980. It also adds sustainable urban drainage systems to Scottish Water's core functions as provider of sewerage services. Part 3 makes general provision for the making of orders and regulations under the Act.
Long title of text
An Act of the Scottish Parliament to make provision for protection of the water environment, including provision for implementing European Parliament and Council Directive 2000/60/EC; to amend the Sewerage (Scotland) Act 1968 and the Water (Scotland) Act 1980 in relation to the provision of water and sewerage services; and for connected purposes.
Date of consolidation/reprint
Entry into force notes
The provisions of this Act, other than this Part, come into force on such day as the Scottish Ministers may by order appoint. The appointed day for sections 1 to 7;18,20,21 and 26 to 28 is 15 December 2003 (S.S.I. No. 562 (C. 30)).
Amends the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act, Sewerage (Scotland) Act 1968, and the Water (Scotland) Act 1980.The Act is up to date with all changes known to be in force on or before 07 November 2021. Last amendment was made by y The Environment (EU Exit) (Scotland) (Amendment etc.) Regulations 2019 (S.S.I. 2019/26).
Source language


Legislation Amendment
Implemented by