Enabling the framework: the Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003

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    8 Citations (Scopus)


    The Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003 (the Act) has now been given Royal Assent. The Act enables implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD), enacts broader reform of water pollution control, and makes some new provision for network connections and sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS). The Act is the result of a programme of water law reform by the Scottish Parliament that began with a parliamentary enquiry into water, then progressed through the Water Industry (Scotland) Act 2002, before culminating in the 2003 Act itself. Scotland has been keen to make good progress with transposition of the WFD, and has successfully achieved this via primary legislation well in advance of the December 2003 deadline, spurred on by the need to complete outstanding Bills by March 2003 before the dissolution of the Parliament prior to the May elections. However, in many places the Act is nothing more than an enabling provision, and the devil may yet be in the missing detail. This article will consider how much further the Act takes us in implementing the Directive requirements. It will also appraise the other provisions, both for water pollution (long overdue) and water services, and look ahead to what further developments might be expected in the future.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)16-23
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Water Law
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


    • Scottish water law
    • Water industry
    • Water supply
    • Water management


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