09 January 23                NetRegs

River basin management planning (RBMP) protects and improves the water environment for the benefit of people, wildlife and the economy.


The River Basin Management Plans for Scotland are produced every six years by SEPA on behalf of Scottish Government. SEPA published the third set of river basin management plans (RBMP3) in December 2021, which focusses on reducing resource use, eliminating waste and restoration of natural capital.

Much of the water environment in Scotland is in good condition. However, there are still significant problems affecting water quality, physical condition, water resources, and the migration of wild fish.

Using a whole systems approach it supports the delivery of SEPA’s regulatory strategy – One Planet Prosperity and Scotland’s wider efforts to tackle the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis. 

RBMPs Scotland: View all river basin management planning publications

River basin management planning requires co-ordination, integration and partnership. A broad range of stakeholders help to provide a steer on the development, coordination and implementation of projects to improve Scotland’s water environment.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland’s water resources are managed and protected using a catchment based approach which includes rivers, lakes and groundwater as well as coastal and transitional water bodies. The Water Environment (Water Framework Directive) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2017 requires the production and implementation of a River Basin Management Plan (RBMP) in six yearly cycles. The River Basin Management Plan takes an integrated approach, identifying those water bodies which can be classified as being at ‘good or better’ status. It also sets the objectives and a programme of measures for the next six year cycle to help improve those water bodies which are classified as below ‘good’ status.

The third set of plans are due to be published and will be available through the DAERA page: River basin management | Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (daera-ni.gov.uk)